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Cote d’Ivoire 2023 AFCON: ‘Don’t bank on Super Eagles’

Former Chairman of Gombe United Football Club, Ahmed Shuaibu Gara Gombe, has written off the possibility of the Super Eagles springing surprise in the 2024 African Nations Cup holding in Cote d’Ivoire.

The AFCON tournament was originally scheduled for the middle of last year, but was moved to January this year owing to poor weather condition in Cote d’Ivoire.

Speaking with The Guardian, yesterday, in Lagos, Gombe stated that apart from the poor preparation of the team for the tournament, Coach Jose Peseiro has demonstrated he does not have the sound technical ability to pilot the team to safety in Cote d’Ivoire.

“Sincerely speaking, Nigeria is not prepared for this tournament,” Gara Gombe said. “And I don’t see the possibility of our team making a meaningful impact when hostilities begin, because the players’ morale is down.
“The Super Eagles may try to secure qualification from the group stage based on the quality of individual players we have in the team, but when it really matters in the knockout stage, they will fall by the way side owing to poor technical ability of the coaching crew. Peseiro used 45 players from the qualifiers till now, which shows there is high level inconsistency in the team. Contracting Peseiro was a huge mistake because, since he arrived, nothing positive has been achieved in the team. Under him, the Super Eagles have shown lack of tactical and technical discipline to play convincing football. In Cote d’Ivoire, if anything positive happens, it would be a special act of God,” he stated.

Gara Gombe also faulted the Presidency’s alleged approval of $1.3m for the Sports Ministry to offset Peseiro’s debt saying: “It is criminal for the Sports Ministry to plead with the Presidency to release such a huge amount of money to offset Peseiro’s debt. It means the Minister does not ask question, and he relies on whatever his aides tell him. I am calling on the Presidency to always cross-check every financial request from the Sports Ministry to avoid falling into the hands of dubious people who specialise in diverting Federal Government money to their personal use.”

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