Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) secretary-general, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi has hailed the country’s two continental club competition campaigners, following their efforts last weeknd.
Although Lobi Stars of Makurdi lost 1-0 away to ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire in the CAF Champions League, Rangers International of Enugu beat Bantu FC of Lesotho to reach the CAF Confederation Cup group stage, such that Sanusi believes both sides have already done so well.
Footballlive.ng gathered that Sanusi is excited by the efforts of players from both clubs, as he has praised them for their commitment so far in the respective continental competitions.
Lobi Stars earlier prevailed over US Loum of Cameroon and Gor Mahia of Kenya in the preliminary rounds of the Champions League to reach the group stage, in which they beat Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in their first match and will next play Morocco’s Wydad Athletic Club.
On their part, Rangers overcame opposition from Ethiopia, Algeria and Lesotho to qualify for the group stage, where they are now paired with Etoile Sahel, CS Sfaxien (both of Tunisia) and Salitas FC of Burkina Faso.
While looking ahead of the next line of matches for both teams, Sanusi said he is already impressed by what they have done so far and urged them not to rest on their oars.
The NFF scribe also noted the opportunity now presented to Lobi Stars to play in front of their home fans, following completion of the runway of Makurdi Airport, a situation which he says will invigorate the players to even better performance in subsequent matches.
Sanusi added: “I want to commend the Clubs for their efforts so far in the continent.
“Both Lobi Stars and Rangers International have been doing well and the NFF and indeed Nigerian ball fans are proud of them.
“However, the road ahead is rougher. Lobi Stars put up a commendable performance in Abidjan against ASEC Mimosas though they lost by the odd goal.
“Now, they must lift their morale to pick the three points against Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco in order to boost their chances of a place in the quarter finals.
“Rangers will be playing two experienced campaigners from Tunisia in the group stage, and we know how tough a challenge the North African teams can pose.
“It means that Rangers must raise their game against these two and against the Burkinabes to reach the quarter finals.
“Playing in front of their home fans will be bigger boost for the Lobi Stars. I have confidence that they will go all the way in the competition.
“Rangers International also have the capacity to overhaul the continent and bring back memories of their Cup Winners Cup triumph in 1977.”