P/Harcourt – Amaju Pinnick, President of the Nigeria Football Fedeatiuon (NFF) has been asked not to return to the country if the Super Eagles fail to reach the knockout stage of the summer World Cup in Russia.
Super Eagles have been grouped alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina with the first two teams in the group qualifying for the second round.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick, at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday, Governor Wike said that exiting the World Cup at the group stage would be unacceptable to Nigerians.
“If you fail to advance beyond the group stage, don’t bother to return. Find excuses to stay there in Russia. Nigerians expect the best from the Super Eagles. That is why the NFF must intensify preparations.”
Consequently, he tasked the NFF to ensure that the Super Eagles do not only qualify from the group stage but win the tournament.
He added that adequate preparations for the World Cup were paramount as Nigerians would not accept failure at the Mundial.
Wike urged the NFF to close ranks and work in unity for the development of football.
Wike commended the NFF for the improvements in the country’s league, charging the NFF to develop it to the level where teams can win on the strength of their capacity.
Earlier, the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick said that the NFF were in the State to thank Governor Wike for providing the foundation for the qualification of Super Eagles for the World Cup.
He said the journey to Russia started in Port Harcourt after the Super Eagles defeated Swaziland.
“The governor created the right environment that led to the qualification of Super Eagles for the World Cup. This journey started here in Port Harcourt. Today, Port Harcourt has become a destination of choice.”
He formally invited Governor Wike to be part of the country’s delegation to the World Cup, saying that the country would benefit from the sporting experience of the Rivers State Governor.