Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi
Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi was practically in tears on Tuesday evening when he learnt of the injury to power playing Toronto FC of Canada forward, Bright Dike. He has already instructed team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran to get in touch the medics of the player’s club to know the extent of damage done to a potential World Cup debutant.
“No, no, this is very sad. I can’t believe this is happening to a player with such enthusiasm to play for Nigeria at the highest level, we will surely miss him, if it’s true he would not be ready on time for the World Cup. I can’t think of any replacement for now until we get to the real facts of the matter”
Keshi said in Florianopolis, Brazil, where he is presently attending the FIFA seminar for Mundial 2014 along with coaches of other qualified nations and their officials.
The former Anderletch of Belgium and Strasbourg of France libero also revealed that he has turned a prayer warrior for all the players he is planning to take to the World Cup, and he was sure God will protect them against any form of injury in the run-up to the World Cup. “We just have to commit all the other players to God’s hands, because we can only do well if our players are in good health”, he said.
On the return of Skipper Joseph Yobo to the team, Keshi said he was recalled because he has recently come back to a reach vein of form, warning however that his recall to the team does not guarantee a World Cup place. “He played well against Manchester City, which I watched but he must be consistent and we pray he should be in good health, those are the attributes we want in all the players that will go to the World Cup”.
The national team coach also expressed grief at news of the death of the son of National Womens’ Team Coordinator, Aisha Falode, Master Toba Falode. “We in the Super Eagles join the NFF and the entire football fraternity to mourn with Falode. We pray God to grant her the fortitude to bear the loss”, he said through team’s Media Officer Ben Alaiya.
FIFA Seminar Excites Nigerian Delegates
Nigerian delegates to the Brazil 2014 World Cup Workshop/Seminar in Florianopolis, Brazil say they have benefitted immensely from the weeklong event, which they will avail the national team and Nigerian football, when occasion warrants.
Super Eagles coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, said it was a revealing session for him, as it afforded him an opportunity to meet some of the best coaches in the world. “Some of the coaches we have here, were the same coaches some of us were adoring in our playing days. To be rubbing shoulders with them on the same platform is a rare privilege and we must thank the NFF and FIFA for this opportunity”, he said as he exchanged pleasantries with Brazilian coach, Luis Filipo Scolari.
Keshi and Brazilian Coach Felipe Scolari share a moment during lunch time on Wednesday at the ongoing FIFA Seminar in Florianopolis, Brazil
Eagles Team Administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor, who was also at a similar event at the South African 2010 World Cup, said there have been a few changes to the last seminar, as FIFA continues to evolve as one of the most influential bodies in the world. “The seminar will surely help us when the World Cup starts”, he said.
On his part team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran, who has been the most engaged of all the delegates here said it has been another eye opener for him in the field of sports medicine. “We have been told the latest discoveries in medicine, new medical terms, drugs, steps against anti-doping, preventive rather than curative approach in athletes’ management and new rules from international bodies like the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Health Organisation.
NFF Marketing Department’s Chuks Alizor, said he has gained fresh insights into international sports marketing, which will come in handy in his job with the NFF. “FIFA was simply fantastic with this seminar and I thank the NFF for bringing me here to learn new things”, he said.
Team Security Head, Assistant Commissioner of Police Abubabakar Baba, was mouth agape at the huge deployment of security operatives and other salient security details unveiled during Wednesday’s session. “Security wise I have gained a lot but I must also say FIFA has a lot of planners that will make this year’s World Cup free of security threat”, he said.
NFF Security Committee, Dr Christian Emeruwa spoke in a similar vein, describing the knowledge gained at the seminar as an eye opener. The Nigerian delegation is expected back home