Super Eagles of Nigeria face the task of qualifying the country for two major events next year and the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF; President Amaju Pinnick tagged it critical and sensitive.
The Super Eagles would be embarking on the qualification for CAF African Cup of Nations and FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
According to the NFF boss, ‘’next year is going to be a very strong, critical and very sensitive era for football based on the number of qualifications that we are going to have both the nation’s cup qualifiers and the world cup qualifiers, so it is going to be a very tight year, we need to have a retinue of players.’’
However, Pinnick is confident that Super Eagles would win the African Cup of Nations for a record fourth time.
Pinnick told newsmen that the senior national team has the chances of becoming African champions again as they are on the verge of qualifying for the tournament in Cameroon.
In the last edition held in Egypt in 2019, the Super Eagles finished third, but they currently sit on top of their qualifying group for the next edition with six maximum points.
The team is expected to seal their place in Cameroon 2022 should they beat Sierra Leone in November double headers match.
The first meeting is scheduled for Samuel Ogbemudia stadium in Benin and the reverse fixture in Free town.
Pinnick said that, “We are more confident now that Nigeria Super eagles will go places, we will not only qualify for the nation’s cup but win it, I am one hundred commuted by God’s grace we will win that nation’s cup.”
Meanwhile, Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr yesterday expressed his readiness for the challenges ahead as he extend invitations to Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, Joe Aribo, Daniel Akpeyi and others ahead of next month’s AFCON 2022 qualifiers against Sierra Leone.
Osimhen returns after missing out of this month’s friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia, just as midfielder Aribo and South Africa-based goalkeeper Akpeyi.
Rohr also called up Captain Ahmed Musa, defender William Ekong, and midfield enforcer Oghenekaro Etebo.
Defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun and Chidozie Awaziem, midfielder Alex Iwobi and forwards Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze and Chidera Ejuke are also called.
Switzerland-based goalkeeper Sebastian Osigwe will hope to earn his first cap for Nigeria, while defenders Kevin Akpoguma and Zaidu Sanusi, who impressed in the friendlies in Austria, have been handed opportunities to add to their caps.
There are seven players on standby, including defender Abdullahi Shehu, goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, midfielders Ramon Azeez and Samson Tijani, and forward Paul Onuachu.
The Super Eagles take on the Leone Stars at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, Edo State on November 13 before flying to Freetown for the return game on November 17 at the Siaka Stevens Stadium.
Players are expected to report at the Protea Hotel, Emotan in Benin City on November 9.
Victory in both encounters will all but guarantee Nigeria a slot at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finals holding in Cameroon.