President of Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick who was a member CAF’s Organising Committee of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea has praised the young players paraded by nations that participated at the competitions.
Pinnick who returned to the Glass House Secretariat of the NFF on Monday was full of praise for the young and upcoming stars paraded at the competition for putting up impressive performances to the delight of the football lovers all over the world.
This is a contrast to the recent decision by coach Stephen Keshi not to call up youngsters like Kelechi Iheanacho and other players from the victorious U17 team to the Super Eagles.
“In Equatorial Guinea I saw young and talented players. I saw zeal, national morale and selflessness as well as the hunger to excel. They were hungry, you could see that there was no [Samuel] Eto’o, no [Didier] Drogba, no [Sulley] Muntari and no Michael Essien, may be apart from Yaya Toure and Asamoah Gyan, there was no such other big name,” Pinnick said.
“In fact when you see these players on television you think they are very old but seeing them in person revealed that they are very young, as a match commissioner I went into their dressing rooms with their captains and referees and you see these players are young.
In fact, I asked one about his age and he told me he is 18 years and truly he looks it so I am telling you these are players that are hungry, people between the ages of 18 to 22 and that is what we possibly lack in the Super Eagles.”
The NFF boss further hinted that he used the opportunity of the championship to underscore the fact that Nigeria is a well respected member of the Confederation of African Football, a position he added that the Caf president Issa Hayatou reaffirmed at the general meeting of the continental body.
Pinnick, however, appealed to all stakeholders in Nigerian football to give peace a chance by rallying behind his board to move the game forward because it is not about him but the country.