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Sierra Leone comeback ‘worst result’ since I became NFF head, Pinnick tells Super Eagles

Amaju Pinnick and the press

President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has expressed his disappointment over Super Eagles’ performance in their clash against Sierra Leone in Benin on Friday.

The Eagles were leading by four goals before conceding another four goals to be held to a 4-4 draw in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.

Pinnick, in a meeting with the players after the game, told the team that the result was the worst he has experienced since taking over the presidency of Nigerian football.

The football chief went on to charge the Gernot Rohr squad that nothing less than a 4-0 victory is expected of them in the reverse fixture of the tie in Freetown.

“Since I became the NFF president this is the worst result I’ve seen in my life,” Pinnick said in a video with the players published on the Super Eagles YouTube channel.

Read Also: Musa apologises to fans after S’Leone draw, Iwobi says Eagles will ‘put things right’

“Next few days I wonder how I’m going to sleep. It’s not because of losing or we won’t qualify for the Nations Cup, it’s certainly because this is towards the end of the year, you know the passion and love Nigerians have for this game.

“It’s football, it can go either way but what happened to us? Were we complacent? Were we so comfortable that we were leading 4-0 and all of a sudden the goals start coming in? At the end of the day nobody is going to call your name, it’s the coach and Amaju Pinnick. That is the truth. Unfortunately he is not the one on the pitch. I saw the reaction of your captain after they score the fourth goal and I shed tears for the first time in a long time.

“That spirit of competition is not there anymore, to me that’s the truth. I’m not the coach but if I’m the coach there are some people that will not come to the team again and that’s the truth.

“Nigeria has 200 million people and should consider ourselves privileged playing for the national team. It hurt all of us I cannot think of anything else because we put in a lot, I did a check list, the flight, the immigration, custom, everything, just to make sure that everything goes seamlessly.

“This is Nigeria, it is a big country. We don’t wake up playing Sierra Leone, you wake up playing Brazil, you wake up playing Argentina, you wake up playing Senegal.

“If there is anything that will make us be that proud footballing nation, it’s for us to go to Sierra Leone and beat them 4-0.

“It’s not just winning, winning is an understatement, it’s to make sure we give them that 4-0 and make sure they don’t score even one, that is the only thing we will do from the blast of the whistle till the end of the game.”

Pinnick added: “When I was coming to meet you I was told to cheer you up I said no I can’t cheer you up and remain pained, let us suffer the emotion together I won’t cheer you up, not anymore. I’ve told you and I mean it, I will see your coach and there are somethings we are not going to accept anymore.”

Meanwhile the other matchday three fixture if the group L between Benin Republic and Lesotho ended 1-0 in favour of the former. The Squirrels are now on four points, three points behind Nigeria.

The Super Eagles will look to reach 10 points when they face the Leone Stars on Tuesday, as the race for Cameroon 2022 continues

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Ben Ugbana

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