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Why Super Eagles may travel by boat to Benin - Pinnick

NFF president in deep thoughts

The Nigeria Football Federation are considering transporting the Super Eagles by boat to Benin for the upcoming 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier last this month, according to president Amaju Pinnick.

The mode of transportation had been mooted by the Federation in talks with manager Gernot Rohr in plans for an alternative travel option, with the poor state of the roads and shorter distance by water. 

Despite the NFF and Rohr look to have an understanding on the alternative arrangement by water, some unindentified players of the Super Eagles have let out their dissatisfaction with the travel option.

To clear the air, Pinnick on Thursday has explained the federation has not yet reached a decision for the Super Eagles to travel by boat for the qualifying game against the Benin Republic.

"Going to Cotonou by boat I do that all the time, when we were going to inspect we did it, there's nothing wrong in exploring other form of adventure in Nigeria," the NFF president said on Arise TV.

"There's nobody in Lagos that has not been to Ilashe or been to Tarkwa Bay, so it's the same thing, so what's the big deal. Look at the Lagos boat terminal, it's one of the best in the world that I've seen, so why don't we use all those things if we have them.

"So it's just a projection, we have not agreed on it. We are looking at going by road to Cotonou which is our next door neighbor because even if you want to leave Eko Hotel to the Murtala Muhammed Airport it is half the journey of going to Cotonou, so why do you need to fly and go to Cotonou?

"We might either go by road, we are working with the Lagos State Government, from here I have a meeting with the Lagos State Governor.

"All those are things we want to explore and see what is best suited for that and once we say are going by the creeks to Cotonou of course we'll provide every requisite, will provide the enabling environment for them to go in terms of security , in terms of everything.

"But people should look at Nigeria beyond that, there's no country in this world that doesn't have black spots but we live and try to live."

The three-time African champions will take on the Squirrels in Cotonou at the Stade Charles de Gaulle on March 27 before facing Lesotho three days later in Lagos.

Nigeria are leaders of Group L with eight points and a victory either against the Republic of Benin will put the Super Eagles on the brink of qualification for the Afcon finals in Cameroon next year.

The west African nation have appeared in the continental showpiece 18 times, winning the tournament thrice and finished third in their last appearance at the championship in 2019 in Egypt.

 

Samuel AHMADU

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