The Super Eagles of Nigeria will be very much ready when the qualifiers for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations begin in September, so says President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari.
Maigari, who was at the draw for the qualifying series held in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday, insisted that the defending champions have all it takes to not only qualify for the finals in Morocco, but to successfully defend the trophy won in South Africa early last year.
“We are in Group A and we will come out with an ‘A’ grade,” Maigari started, following the draw that housed Nigeria in the same pool with South Africa, Sudan and the winner of the two preliminary rounds among Namibia/Congo Brazzaville and Libya/Rwanda.
The qualifying phase starts in the first week of September, and unusually for qualifying campaigns for major competitions, all six matches will be played over two-and-half months between September and November. This is as a result of the decision by the Confederation of African Football to move the tournament to odd years, and the African Nations Championship to even years, with the immediate CHAN coming only a year after the first odd-year AFCON (South Africa 2013) and headlong into the FIFA World Cup finals.
“We are presently focused on making a major impact at the FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil in the summer,” Maigari, also a member of CAF’s Organising Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations, said. “But I tell you, by the time the qualifying series for Morocco 2015 starts, the Super Eagles will be super ready.”