By James Agberebi:
Former Nigeria international, Garba Lawal, has stated that the Super Eagles wouldn't have had it easy playing in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon if they had qualified for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations holding in Gabon.
The Eagles lost out to Egypt during the qualifiers in 2016.
In a chat with Completesportsnigeria.com, Lawal who represented Nigeria at four AFCON tournaments ( 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006), posited that with the surprises so far in Gabon 2017, the Eagles wouldn't have had it easy..
"If we had qualified, and with what we've seen so far, I don't think the Super Eagles would have had it easy," Lawal told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"Yes we have the pedigree and would have been one of the favourites for the title, but unfortunately, we are not there. We can see it has not been easy for the big teams who are ther," Lawal said.
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And on his impression so far about the 2017 AFCON, Lawal said he was pleased.
"It's like what I keep saying, every country is improving and it is something we should all know. Every country wants to make history.
"The countries who ordinarily were not reckoned before are now being taken seriously. For instance, look at a country like Togo holding defending champions Cote d'Ivoire to a draw.
"So for me, it's a fantastic development and should be encouraged."