Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has disagreed with national team manager Gernot Rohr’s assertion that the Super Eagles are not one of the favourites for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Nigeria completed their qualification campaign this past weekend with a 3-1 home win over the Seychelles on Friday, though they were guaranteed of their place at the Nations Cup finals long before hosting the Island minnows.
The West African powerhouses won the last AFCON they appeared in (2013 in South Africa), but Rohr has maintained that the likes of Senegal, hosts Egypt and Morocco should be considered greater favourites to claim the trophy later this year.
"We are not among the favourites to win the Nations Cup trophy and it would be stupid for me to believe that we are going to win it,” Rohr explained.
However, the NFF supremo says he has high hopes and expectations for Nigeria at the AFCON.
"When you have a child and prepare him for an exam, your expectation is for the child to excel and that is the same expectation I have for the Super Eagles at the upcoming Nations Cup in Egypt. I expect them to go and compete for the trophy, nothing more, nothing less,” Pinnick is quoted by Vanguard.
"My expectations are not overreaching because they are amongst the top four countries on the continent, which if they play to their best strength should guarantee them a place in the semifinals and from that position, the cup is within their reach,” he concluded.
Nigeria will be in friendly action this evening when they host Egypt at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.