The President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick is looking ahead to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.With the Super Eagles boasting one of the youngest squads amongst the 32 participating countries in Russia 2018 World Cup, Pinnick has predicted that the current squad would perform better in the next four years.
”It is not the number of merchandising, marketing or funds coming through sponsorship, it is the fact that we have a young team that can play two Nations Cup conveniently, and we have a young team that can play two World Cups,” Pinnick said on Channels Television
“Look at Victor Osimhen, look at the Nwakalis, just look at those players, Tyronne, Brian lots of them, Kelechi and Ndidi. Look at the statistics, Nigeria is the youngest team going to this World Cup.
”I keep saying to my colleagues and we joke about it. That our team will be better prepared for the 2022 World Cup than this World Cup.
”I believe we are going to spring a surprise at this World Cup because there is one thing that counts for the Super Eagles right now, team spirit.”
According to Swiss-based independent study centre CIES Football Observatory, Super Eagles of Nigeria fielded the youngest team during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, with an average age of 24.9 years.
Meanwhile, World football governing body, FIFA, has approved that countries participating at the 2018 World Cup can name 35 players in their provisional squad list, an additional five players compared to previous tournaments.
Argentina sports newspaper Ole writes that Fifa announced a change on Thursday that 35 players will be part of the list, of which the coaches must choose 23 players for the tournament in Russia.
The deadline for teams to name their squad list is June 4, ten days before the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, while the 35-man provisional rosters must be named on May 14.
In 2014, the NFF had announced a provisional roster containing 30 players, but Daniel Akpeyi, Elderson Echieijle (injury), Joel Obi, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Nosa Igiebor, Sunday Mba and Victor Obinna were dropped.
Bassey Akpan, Onyekachi Apam, Terna Suswan, Obi Mikel (injury), Victor Anichebe, Ikechukwu Uche and Peter Utaka were cut from the 30-man provisional roster for the World Cup in South Africa.
Super Eagles coach Gernor Rohr will name his final 23-man squad for Russia 2018 after the friendly against England on June 2.