Football

Russia 2018: Ekeji praises Eagles, Pinnick’s board

Dapo Sotuminu, Live in Russia
The former Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Chief Patrick Ekeji, has commended the Super Eagles team and the board of the Nigeria Football Federation, headed by Amaju Pinnick for their magnanimity in making the 2018 World Cup a memorable one for Nigerians.
Ekeji, a one-time chief coach of the Nigeria national soccer team, said his commendation for the Eagles is coming from the fact that the Eagles played their hearts out at the Russia 2018 World Cup not minding their earlier ouster from the biggest soccer competition in the world at the group stage. The defending World Champions also crashed out in the first round.
He said: “But let me say here that our boys played their hearts out in the last two games against Iceland and Argentina. Yes they lost out of the World Cup, but I should add that, though Argentina was technically and tactically superior, our boys compensated for that shortfall with grit and determination which I have not seen in the Super Eagles team in a while.
“I saw the politics of football at the highest level of FIFA World Cup play out and that which ultimately gave victory to the Argentines.”
The former Director of Sports Development in the Sports Ministry also applauded the renewed vigour and commitment of the Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi, who gave his all in the World Cup, but the Eagles were simply unlucky to crash out.
“Because Mikel came out fully to play like never before, his team mates joined him to fight like Trojans. I doff my hat for Mikel Obi, he is a true warrior, he conscientiously fought the battle for Nigeria.
“For Coach Gernot Rohr, despite the criticisms from angry and passionate Nigerian football fans, I doff my hat for you. You put up a team that went down fighting until the last drop of “blood was shed.”
He added: “The president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick for you and your board, I doff my hat. I know what you have gone through to put this team together under a harsh environment of scarce and untimely presence of requisite logistics.
“To Nigerians, I add that “the fault is not in our stars but in ourselves. If sport is a string that holds us together, let’s not toy with it,” Chief Ekeji told Sports Compass.

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