Calabar – Football fans in Calabar have called on football administrators to sustain their encouragement of the Golden Eaglets, following the team’s 4-2 victory at the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.
They made the call on Friday in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the team’s 4-2 semi-final defeat of Mexico to advance to the finals.
The fans were also of the opinion that such encouragement would not only engender youth football development but also drive the growth of the senior national team, the Super Eagles.
One of the followers, Albert Andinam, urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to encourage the players to grow by keeping them together to graduate to the senior national teams.
“We should all call on the NFF to continue to encourage the 2015 class of Golden Eaglets currently campaigning at the FIFA World U-17 Cup in Chile because the team deserved no less.
“We expect the NFF to continue to keep the boys together to transit to the next age level. With this class of young footballers, Nigeria stands a chance of making it in global football.
“We need not remind them; `he who fails to plan, plans to fail’,’’ Andinam, also Vice-Chairman Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in Cross River said.
According to the former Secretary of the Youths Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON), the Eaglets have the pedigree to consecutively win the cup having also won it four times at the U-17 level.
Another fan, Bassey Inyang, who shared Andinam’s views, said he was pleased that the Nigerian youths were in Chile to exhibit their talents at the global level.
Inyang, who is immediate Past Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists in Cross River, said he was also encouraged that Nigeria was not parading over-aged players at the tournament.
He expressed the hope that the national team would someday win the senior World Cup, having made their mark at the age-grade level.
“It is my wish that Nigeria should progress to winning at the senior level of world football; which is the World Cup.
“But it may be difficult to keep them together. However, if they want to play in Europe, the opportunities are there to further develop.
“We should continue to monitor their development, rather than abandoning them to their fate after the competition. Governments and the corporate world should note this,’’ he said. (NAN)