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Gaiya: Baptism of fire for Super Eagles

29 October 2013, 08:39

Abuja - Godfrey Gaiya, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Sports, on Monday in Abuja described the Super Eagles’ 1-0 loss to Jordan as a "baptism of fire."

The Nigerian team is using the match, played on Monday in Amman, to prepare for the forthcoming Championship of African Nations (CHAN), and Jordan is preparing for the 2014 World Cup play-off with Uruguay.

Gaiya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the match was a stepping stone for most of the players who were playing an international match for the first time.

"There is no cause for alarm because it was a friendly match and these players were assembled barely three days before they departed for Jordan.

"For me, it is a good exposure for the players because almost all of them that participated in the match have never played any international match for Nigeria before.

"So, it is `baptism of fire’ and it could have been either way; we cannot allow our spirits be dampened by the defeat because it is part of learning and building process.

"We still have up to January to participate in CHAN.’’

Gaiya expressed the hope that a formidable team would be assembled before CHAN.

Musa Amadu, the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), told NAN that  the goal scored by Jordan was "dubious."

Amadu, however, said the NFF was satisfied with the outcome of the match.

"We are satisfied with what has happened today. The goal that was scored was a dubious penalty.

"The important thing is that we have started giving the home-based team the best friendly matches prior to when the team will open camp in December for CHAN.

"It was a good thing they went to play with Jordan and we could see that they didn’t really put up a spirited fight.

"The team can only get better,’’ Amadu said.

According to him, the objective of the project is to train the team and give them the best support so that they can go to South Africa in January for the third edition of CHAN and win the championship.

NAN reports that the 2014 CHAN is scheduled to take place between January 11 and February 1 in South Africa.



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