President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, weighed in on Sunday’s elimination of Nigeria’s senior national team, the Super Eagles, in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, and appealed to Nigerians not to turn their back against the team.
In a cracker Garoua, where Tunisia displayed better cohesion, excellent team organisation and superior technical depth, the Super Eagles were punished 1-0 by the North Africans in the Group of 16 stage, the knock-out stage.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said Buhari reacted to the loss, saying that although the team did not live up to our expectations in the tournament, both officials and players deserved commendation for the tough fight they put up.
“They gave everyone the confidence that they were up to it,” the President was quoted as saying, “and I am sure it was something they could have achieved. Nonetheless, we should not write them off.”
Shehu stated further that President Buhari urged Nigerians to encourage the players to do better next time, especially in view of the World Cup qualification matches that have been lined up for them.
The President directed the football authorities in the country to undertake a critical assessment of the Eagles’ performance at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
He also appealed to the general public to send their suggestions to the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to help the football governing body to reflect and plan well for a better outing in the this year’s World Cup finals in Qatar.