Nigeria Football Federation President Amaju Pinnick on Friday charged the Home Eagles and the Golden Eaglets to go for wins in their respective games this weekend.
The Golden Eaglets on Saturday night in Santiago, Chile, begin the defence of their FIFA U-17 World Cup title they won in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 against USA while the home-based Eagles will play against Burkina Faso in a 2016 Championship for African Nations (CHAN) qualifier at the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
During the NFF press conference at the Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt Pinnick said:
“It is a very important weekend for Nigeria football, and I call on the Super Eagles B and the Golden Eaglets to rise to the occasion. On our part, the NFF has given all the necessary support and is ready to provide even more support to ensure that the two teams do the nation proud in a great way.
“The Eaglets know that our country is the defending champion of the U-17 World Cup, and that is a big motivation in itself.
"They are challenged to give their very best. The home-based senior boys also realize that Nigeria cannot afford to miss the African Nations Championship coming up in Rwanda, having finished third at the last championship.”
According to the NFF website, Pinnick called on the two teams to strive for handsome wins that will almost guarantee further progress.
“The Eaglets must win in Santiago for three valuable points that will put them in good stead for qualification to the Round of 16, while the Eagles will ensure a comfortable second leg in Ouagadougou by winning very well in Port Harcourt,” he told thenff.com after speaking with Coach Emmanuel Amuneke in Santiago and Coach Salisu Yusuf in Port Harcourt on Friday.
The Eaglets begin their defence of the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a match against USA in Santiago. The champions spend 10 days at a final training camp in Buenos Aires, Argentina before flying into the Chilean capital on Tuesday.
Already, FIFA has selected German Deniz Aytekin as referee for the match, which starts at 9pm Nigeria time. Aytekin’s compatriots Guido Kleve and Markus Haecker are assistants referee 1 and 2, while Martin Strombergsson from Sweden will be fourth official.
In Port Harcourt, Angolan official Boubou Traore will be referee, with his countrymen Baba Yomboliba, Boubacar Kinta and Harouna Coulibaly as assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and reserve referee respectively.