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We can't go to AFCON in this situation, says Rufai

Posted : 28 November 2023

Peter Rufai, former Super Eagles goalkeeper, states that errors in the national team's goalkeeping department must be urgently addressed before the 2024 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote D’Ivoire.

Rufai gave this advice in an exclusive interview, adding that Nigeria must find a balance in the goalkeeping department before participating in AFCON.

Rufai, who earned 65 caps for the Super Eagles, expressed optimism about the players' quality but emphasized that more work needs to be done.

“I sincerely believe in the Super Eagles, although they are not in their best form right now due to certain circumstances.

“The team needs to prepare well ahead of the AFCON, judging by their last performances in the World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

“Any coach or technical department of a national team going for the prestigious tournament should be ready to brace up after putting up not-too-impressive games; the fans didn’t like it.

“We need to work harder to correct the below-standard performances; although it is not a must that we should win, there must be commitment,” he said.

According to Rufai, the game of football sometimes swings in different directions, yet Nigeria must find a way to ensure that it maintains the standard.

“Not all matches will be ours because that is what life teaches; there are ups and downs, but we must keep to our own standard.

“If we fail to prepare and be comfortable with that situation, then we won’t get anywhere. We should know our place before now.

“I believe that the national team will be in good condition before the AFCON and will make all the necessary adjustments.

“For the goalkeeping department, I believe that there will be some modification to ensure that corrections in the lapses are attended to,’’ he said.


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