Former super eagle midfielder, Garba Lawal recently said that nobody in the country should give so much pressure to the youth team to bag home the U20 trophy for the continent. He said this in an interview with Punch recently.
This statement was made following the Nigerian Football Federation Deputy Secretary General Emmanuel Ikpeme’s statement that the entire country is looking forward to the U20 team to win the continent tournament after they have achieved a string of superb performance lately. The team had earlier defeated Senegal 3 – 1 and trashed Congo 4 – 1, finishing the top of group A with 7 points ahead and managed to equal another powerhouse of soccer, Ivory Coast 2 – 2.
“The Flying Eagles have been fantastic. I always said AYC is not about winning; it’s about Nigeria qualifying for the world championship, which they have done by reaching the semi-finals,” Lawal said.
“I don’t care if they win the AYC or not, nobody should pressure the Flying Eagles to win. The U-17 and U20 African championships are not all about winning, they should be for developing the players and qualifying for world championships,” he concluded.
The string of successes has renewed the flagging national spirits after the country was edged out from the AFCON 2015 recently.
The U20 tournament for the continent is currently being held in Dakar, Senegal and the team has already booked a berth in the World Cup to be held in New Zealand.