President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick says the NFF has done its part in ensuring that the Super Eagles qualify for the 2018 World Cup, adding that the national team need prayers to seal a spot at the Russia finals.
The Eagles top Group B of the African qualifiers with maximum six points from two games and battle African champions Cameroon, who are second, in a double-header on September 2 and 5.
Pinnick, who was in Uyo on Tuesday to inspect facilities and strategise ahead of the crucial games, said the federation was in constant touch with the players to ensure they were battle-ready for the games, but added that prayers were also key to the Eagles qualification for the Mundial.
“The only thing we need now are prayers. Everyone should go on their knees so that the Eagles can qualify for the World Cup,” he said in Lagos on Wednesday.
“Everything that needs to be done, we have done, we are in touch with all our players, we’ve talked to them and monitored their progress. If you look at their movements to clubs, we have an input but we are not going to come out and start screaming about what we do. We look at their activities, even up to their homes.
“In terms of every other thing, I was in Uyo yesterday (Tuesday), the hotel is fantastic, and we inspected everything, even up to the kitchen. Everything is in place and that’s why I said what we need now are just prayers.”
Speaking further, Pinnick added, “I had a discussion with the coach (Gernot Rohr) this (Wednesday) morning, there are a lot of things we are doing. But I’ve always been an advocate of prayers. I served in Delta State Sports Commission for years and when a player falls ill, what do you do at that point? Then, it’s beyond your reach; only prayers answer for you when everything is out of your reach. What you need to do is to pray for him not to fall ill. That’s the truth.”
Also, the Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has called for a one-day prayer ahead of the encounter against the Indomitable Lions in Uyo.
Speaking at a meeting with Pinnick in Government House, Uyo on Tuesday night, Emmanuel said the prayer session, which would also commemorate the state’s 30th anniversary, would spur the Eagles to victory against the Cameroonians.
The governor, who said the match is a must-win for the Eagles, noted that the spiritual approach would help build confidence in the team to win the match. He urged fans to participate in the “spiritual warfare”.
Pinnick said he was on a mission to Akwa Ibom to enlist the state’s support in the area of logistics including transportation and accommodation as the state had been picked to host the Eagles in training and friendly games ahead of the match.