The Nigeria football Federation (NFF) does not expect anything short of progress into the semi-finals of the 2014 Brazil FIFA World Cup from the Super Eagles, despite not favouring the chances of the side winning the tournament.
Ahead of Nigeria’s fifth appearance on the biggest world soccer stage, the football federation believes the side has all it takes to make it to the last four of the tournament.
In 1994, Eagles, the then African champion failed to progress into the quarter-final of the same competition in their debut appearance by a glimmer of chance- eventually losing to the Azurris of Italy- and Vice president of the NFF, Mike Umeh, who made this known to supersport.com, believes the present crop can even better Africa’s record in 2014.
“That has been discussed. No African team has surpassed the quarterfinals (of a FIFA World Cup). Let us be the first African team that can scale that hurdle. That’s our target,” Umeh exclusively told supersport.com.
The NFF chief however ruled out the Super Eagles’ chances of winning the trophy in Brazil next year.
“When a team reaches the semifinals of a major tournament, anything can happen.
“However, I will not say we will win the trophy in Brazil next year. That will be unrealistic,” he said.
Umeh also stressed that rumours about the NFF making plans to shop for a foreign trainer for the Super Eagles are unfounded.
“I am not God and anything could happen between now and the next six months when we will compete at the World Cup.
“However, the NFF has asked him (Keshi) to take us to the World Cup. He’s a very good coach and has brought some innovations to Nigerian football.
“He has done very well and I pray God helps him to succeed at the World Cup,” he concluded.