The National Sports Commission, NSC, has dismissed the insinuation that the Super Eagles players sabotaged the country by playing a barren draw with Iran to protest their disagreement with the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, over unpaid World Cup appearance fee.
Fielding questions from the sporting press in Abuja on Tuesday, director general of the NSC, Gbenga Elegbeleye, dismissed any claim of sabotage, arguing that the presidency through the commission had given the players enough motivation to do the country proud in Brazil.
“I disagree with the claims of sabotage in the match. I do not believe the players used the match to protest their disagreement with NFF over the world cup appearance fee. No footballer could do that especially in the Super Eagles. They have no reason to sabotage the country because they need to look at their career too,” he said.
“Although I won’t know what is happening there right now because I’m not with the team in Brazil, I know that we at the NSC have done our own part. We have fulfilled all our obligations to the team through the NFF. So, I wouldn’t know what is happening in the team now.
We have fully prepared the Super Eagles to go to Brazil and do Nigeria proud,” Elegbeleye insisted.
The NSC boss said the draw was not good enough but that he was optimistic that the Super Eagles would beat Bosnia Herzegovina in their next outing if they become more aggresive.
“Sincerely speaking, that was not a good result for us but I still see a Super Eagles that could win their next match and qualify from the group. No team is in the World Cup with a mind of not winning their matches, but they need to be more aggressive and score goals that win matches,” he said.
A federation board member, Suleiman Kwande, also told the media that the Super Eagles players deliberately did not give their best in the drab opening group game because they were more concerned in haggling for the monetary reward that would accrue to them.