The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has asked Super Eagles handler, Stephen Keshi, to focus solely on qualifying Nigeria for the 2014 FIFA World Cup final, before the preparation for the 2014 African Nation Championship (CHAN) begins.
The NFF Technical and Development (T&D) Committee, after a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday disclosed that they’ve instructed Coach Keshi to prune his 40-man list for the World Cup qualifier against the Flames of Malawi in Calabar to a 23-man party.
The coach has been told without mincing words that there would be no elaborate camp for the 24 home-based boys, earlier intended to arrive in Abuja on Sunday, out of which only five were expected to make the shortlist for the September 7 clash.
“We must be very pragmatic and take it one step at a time,” Chairman of the NFF T&D Committee, Barrister Chris Green said. “The 2014 FIFA World Cup ticket is very, very important to Nigeria and Nigerians. Yes, we have qualified for the African Nations Championships, for the first time ever, and we very much appreciate it.
“But there are three very crucial 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches that we must prosecute successfully to qualify for Brazil before we can start the build-up to the African Nations Championships.
“”Our smart money must be on focusing hard, and without any distraction, at the World Cup ticket,” he concluded.
Keshi is expected to harmonise his list and submit a reviewed document to the NFF before the end of the week.
Malawi, who has earned 7 points, trail Nigeria who are on nine points and will have to avoid defeat to qualify for the playoff round of the 2014 World Cup qualifying series.