The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare has again canvassed for more injection of home-based players into the mainstream Super Eagles.
Speaking on Tuesday when he visited the Home-based Eagles at their training in Abuja, the Minister said, “I’m happy that the conversation and the meetings we’ve had in the past several months with the NFF about changing the phase of our football development is beginning to bear fruits.
“I’m an advocate of a blend of home-based and foreign-based players to create a level playing field. They are all talented, so we need to give them an equal chance to compete for the Nigerian jersey. That has been the history and tradition of Nigerian soccer. So the opportunities should be the same. Let them fight for the spots. Whether home or foreign based, it’s your talent that counts”.
On the friendly game against Mexico in the United States, the Minister said, “It really gladdened my heart when I heard that the team will be traveling to the USA to play a friendly against Mexico. The Friendly is important as you have an opportunity to showcase your talents and also displace some players in the main team.”
He charged the team to, “Ensure that when you go out there you make this country proud. I’m sure the NFF will not just make this a show, I’m sure that Nigerians will see 3-6 of you eventually end up in the main Super Eagles.
“I watch the professional league very closely, I’ve seen some of the fantastic goals some of you have scored. As I walked into your training, I asked if the 5 top goal scorers in the domestic league are in this team and I was told that just 4 of them are in. This is important because a goal is a goal. If you’re placed in the team and you play well you will score goals for this country.
“So, you have an opportunity to improve yourself. I’m sure when next we play our Nations or World Cup qualifiers, we are going to see home and foreign-based players blend together which would mean that this country is maximizing her talents.
“I’m sure you’ll make the country proud. It might not count with FIFA because It’s friendly but it’s going to count for us”, he assured.