By Harry Awurumibe, Editor-in-Chief
To win the coveted African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon next year, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) must ensure that the Super Eagles get the best preparations and unbiased selection of players to prosecute the competition.
This is the candid opinion of former African Footballer of the Year and winner of AFCON trophy with Nigeria in 1994, Coach Emmanuel Amuneke, who insists that Nigeria must do the needful if the country wants to win the fourth trophy in Cameroon next year.
Amuneke spoke to Ifeanyi Udeze Diary aired on Tuesday morning by Brila FM 88.9 on some burning sports issues including Super Eagles quest for another AFCON trophy.
Said he: “To win the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is not a tea party. It requires proper planning which include adequate preparations by the Super Eagles. The football house must provide the team with the enabling environment to achieve the set goals.
“Team selection is also key to optimal performance of the Super Eagles so I expect the handlers to pick the team on merit. I have no doubt in my mind that Nigeria can win it in Cameroon if the right thing is done”, the former FC Barcelona winger said.
Amuneke who also won Olympics Gold medal with Nigeria’s Dream Team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, warned that trophies are not won by mere wishful thinking.
According to him: “I laugh whenever people are saying we (Nigeria) will go to Cameroon next year to lift the trophy. We cannot win if we fail to prepare adequately. Every country in Africa today wants to win AFCON trophy. They have players who have been exposed like Nigeria so they want to win too”.
Amuneke who coached Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets to lift the FIFA U-17 World Cup and later handled both the Flying Eagles and Super Eagles for a short time urged the authorities to ensure the team prepares adequately for AFCON final in Cameroon.