“Uyo Is Not Cursed”, says Super Eagles Media Officer
Super Eagles of Nigeria’s media officer, Toyin Ibitoye, has stated that contrary to the opinion of some people, Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State, is not a cursed host city for the Super Eagles’ international matches. Ibitoye stated this last night, when he spoke with Austin Okon-Akpan on Sports Tonight, a Channels Television program.
He said: “I don’t even know how to say thank you enough to the Akwa Ibom State government. People say Uyo is cursed and that we don’t win games in Uyo, but we beat Algeria there, 3-1. They say it is not good because we lost to South Africa there, 2-0. They say we are jinxed in Uyo, but we also beat Cameroon 4-0 in Uyo. You can see the progression.”
Speaking on preparations for this Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Zambia in Uyo, Ibitoye said that all the players are in camp, apart from Victor Moses who would arrive today, based on an understanding with coach Gernot Rohr. He disclosed that although Alex Iwobi arrived yesterday when the team was heading for training, he wanted to join his team mates right away. But the coach advised him to go take a rest after his long trip from England.
He said: “Ola Aina, Moses Simon, Chidozie Awaziem, Ogenyi Onazi, Daniel Akpeyi, and Uche Agbo, all came in today. Everybody is fine, everybody is in excellent shape. Mentally, the coach has told us that the job is not done yet. Let us show hunger, let us show commitment the way we’ve shown it from the beginning when we went to Ndola to beat Zambia 2-1, and then came home to beat Algeria 3-1 and then beat Cameroon 4-0, and then drew in the Lion’s den 1-1. Let us come and wrap it up. We don’t want to delay. Let’s come here, fight hard, do all we can to wrap it up on Saturday.”
Ibitoye added that Saturday’s game would have the trappings of a great game of football, judging from the fact that the Zambians are as confident as their Nigerian counterparts, after that country had beaten Algeria home and away. However, he stated that Nigeria has an edge, because they would be playing at home. He said: “Even if it is 0.5 nil that gives us the 3 points, we will take it. 3 points is the most important, but I am sure we will do it on Saturday. With the hunger we have in our team, we will get the job done.”
Meanwhile, Kelechi Iheanacho, Super Eagles prolific attacker, marked his 21st birthday yesterday. Iheanacho scored Nigeria’s second goal in the country’s 2-1 win against Zambia, in the first leg tie. Alex Iwobi scored the first goal in that match that set Nigeria firmly on course for Russia 2018 World Cup.
We congratulate Kelechi on his birthday, and wish Nigeria success in this Saturday’s game!
- Cornelius Ellah
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