Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
Liberian President, Mr. George Weah, has said early preparations will enable the Super Eagles to make an impact at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
The 1995 African, European and World Player of the Year made the call in an interview with State House correspondents on Monday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Weah also urged Nigerian sports authorities to provide an environment conducive to the national team during their camping ahead of the World Cup.
The former AC Milan striker said, “I think the Nigerian team are a model, we all followed them. I have played with great Nigerian players, I played against them. Now you have a new generation, the fact that they qualified (for the World Cup) is a good thing for Nigeria.
“But I hope that they will prepare very early because they are going to represent Africa and we will be there to watch them, for them to bring the trophy for the first time if it is possible.
“I want every African government to know that if you win the World Cup, it is a pride to Africa, not just to Nigeria. So, we must do everything to ensure that the players are not stressed, make sure they concentrate, make sure their incentives are given to them to motivate them.
“Some of the things you see at the World Cup, you will see an entire team go to represent a whole country and you will hear that one minister took the money, they did not pay these players and the players are causing problems.
“When players are going to camp, it is to relax and focus. And for them to be in camp, they must have everything there for them not to worry.”
The former Liberia captain said he played in Europe where players do not have to worry about anything when they are in camp.
“So, let the players not have any excuse, support them and let them go and bring back that cup,” he said.
Weah said he had already approached the World Bank which is offering Liberia $ 5m to revamp the country’s sports sector.
He said as a former coach, technical director and former sponsor of the national team, he would personally monitor developments in the sector.
He said he appointed a former player as sports minister and that he would work with the minister to revamp the national team.
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