For once, Nigeria qualified for a major tournament without fans going through the torture of using calculators and the almighty formula for permutations.

Everyone is celebrating the sheer show of determination by the NFF and the Super Eagles in qualifying for Russia 2018, but there is a warning.

So that they do not leave Russia embarrassed and go back to their rickety “drawing board” as they did in the past, NFF must start preparations now.

Adokiye Amiesimaka, a member of the 1980 African Cup of Nations winning squad is sounding that warning.

The former left winger on Sunday urged Nigeria’s football authorities to kick off preparations for the 2018 Russia World Cup.

He said that the youthfulness of the players played an important role coupled with their dedication.

These, he said, remained the driving force of the team and should be sustained during the World Cup.

“I congratulate the team for qualifying for the World Cup, they worked hard for it and the result is evidence of the effort put into it; they have the energy and they utilised it well.

“We now need to pay attention to the next line of action, which will also depend on the teams that will qualify for the tournament; we know them and we should start studying them.

“We need to study and understand their strength and weaknesses, that’s important, you need to assess the strength of your opponents so you can strategise to neutralise them.

“Then you can capitalise on their weaknesses, so I think that’s the most important thing that should be done,” he said


Some of the countries that have qualified for the FIFA 2018 World Cup are Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, England, Germany, Russia and Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico and Brazil.

The former Enugu Rangers Football Club player further emphasised that Nigerian teams had always underestimated the need to study their opponents in international competition.

“What has been happening in the past more often than not is that we do not bother to look at the teams of our opponents, that’s a big mistake.

“We shouldn’t wait for the World Cup itself to start before looking at those issues, you do that over a period of time before the competition starts.

“That will give you a better idea of what to expect, if you know the psychology of a team, then you are in a better position to know how you are going to play against them,” he said.

The 2018 Russia World Cup is scheduled to hold between June 14 and July 15 in Moscow.

A 73rd minute goal from Alex Iwobi  ensured  Super Eagles appearance at the 2018 World Cup.