By Adeboye Amosu in Kano:
Former Zimbabwe forward Benjani Mwaruwari has tipped the Super Eagles to make it beyond the group stage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia but warned the players to stay disciplined on and off the pitch and avoid fighting with officials over bonuses, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Nigeria’s participation at the mundial has often been marred by in-fighting between players and officials of the football federation over bonuses.
The Super Eagles were embroiled in bitter dispute with federation officials at the 1994 and 1998 editions of the World Cup in the United States of America and France respectively which hampered their progress in the competition despite promising starts.
The issue repeated itself at the 2014 World Cup draw n Brazil with the players boycotting training over dispute.
However, the current NFF have signed a bonus agreement with the players to avoid distractions in Russia.
“I believe the Super Eagles have what it takes to qualify from their group,” the former Portsmouth of England striker told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“Argentina and Croatia are very strong with top quality players. Argentina with Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero will be difficult to beat, while Croatia have Luca Modric and other quality players.
“But if you look at the Super Eagles, they have a lot of young and quality players too which will make them tough opponents for any team in Russia.
“I see them doing well in Russia but they have to do things with discipline. They must avoid unnecessary squabbles over money which has affected their performance in previous competitions.
“It is an African thing and I hope the football federation in Nigeria and other African countries will learn from their past mistakes. ”
The Super Eagles will face Croatia on June 16 at the Kaliningrad Stadium in their opening game in Russia 2018.
Their second group game is against Iceland on June 22 at the Volgograd Arena, while their last group fixture is against Argentina at the Krestovsky Stadium, St.Petersburg.