Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Amaju Pinnick has promised that the soccer governing body will immediately commence preparations for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Speaking against the backdrop of the Super Eagles’ qualification for the continental soccer showpiece on Saturday, Pinnick said it was a feat worth celebration, but footballlive.ng can also report that he acknowledged the need for the NFF to start planning early as well.
Consequently, in order to get a solid outing in Nigeria’s return to the AFCON spectacle, Pinnick says preparations will begin immediately, even as the team still have their last group match to play against Seychelles in March 2019.
Having missed the last two AFCON competitions, Pinnick says Nigeria must return to the championship with aplomb, especially after qualifying again with a match to spare.
On Saturday, the Eagles have joined hosts Cameroon, Madagascar, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Uganda as the teams already guaranteed slots at Cameroon, much to Pinnick’s sheer delight.
He heaped encomiums on President Muhammadu Buhari and sports ministry for providing conducive environment for the NFF to thrive, then hailed Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State who led the Nigerian delegation for the match against South Africa.
The NFF boss, who is also first vice-president of Confederation of African Football (CAF) and president of the continental body’s AFCON Organizing Committee, said the Eagles will be at Cameroon 2019 to win the title, not to just be among the participants.
Pinnick said: “We will begin the preparations for the AFCON immediately. As I have said several times, we do not want the AFCON ticket just to go there and make up the number, but to make a massive impact at the finals.”