The President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has warned the home-based Super Eagles against leaving the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) for low-rated European leagues.
He made this known when he visited the team during their training session in the United States ahead of today’s clash with Mexico at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (LA Coliseum).
According to the FIFA Council member, he will not approve any transfer from clubs from Cyprus, Belarus, and even China except to clubs like Real Madrid, Arsenal and Barcelona
“This is the launchpad we are providing for you guys now. No better are you going to showcase your talents. Don’t play to impress me, play your game and according to the instructions of your coaches. Once you do that, you will be identified.
“I don’t want to hear about transfers from all those nonsense clubs. You are our pride and we are going to keep you guys together and be waving you one by one. If you are going to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal, I will follow you so that they know you are very important.
“We will keep and monitor you as you are the next big thing in Nigeria football. I don’t want to hear Kano Pillars, Enyimba, you are Super Eagles. We want to expose you to the highest heavens and you want to go to China, Cyprus, Belarus.
“We will not allow it and won’t issue transfer to any of you. If you are leaving Nigeria, you are going to top European clubs, not one mushroom club that you are better than. If you keep yourself low, you will remain low,” he admonished.
Meanwhile, the three-time African champions will be without their foreign-based regulars, with the team made up of largely domestic players.
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr had initially excused himself from taking charge of the team, but the German tactician changed his mind and will be in the dugout on Sunday morning.
And given how Rohr has relied mainly on the foreign-based players since he arrived, the domestic players may try to do too much to impress the 68-year-old gaffer.
However, Pinnick has urged the players to stay true to their quality as Rohr is difficult to impress.
“Rohr is difficult to impress, I want you all to just play to the level of your quality,” Pinnick said in an address to the players.
Nigeria will be hoping to earn their first win against Mexico when the two sides clash on Sunday morning. The match kicks off at 4 am Nigerian time.