By Emmanuel Adeleke
The Super Eagle returned to Nigeria in the early hours of Tuesday after their elimination from the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.
The team of players and officials returned via a chartered flight from Garoua where they played four matches.
They arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja at 1.10am, where they were received by officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The NFF officials were led by the General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, and executive committee members, Yusuf Ahmed and Shehu Dikko.
A large chunk of the players and officials came down from the aircraft, alongside members of the supporters clubs and media personnel.
The aircraft later headed to Lagos, where it dropped off the few remaining players and officials, while the rest headed to the Transcorp Hilton where they were to be lodged.
Sanusi welcomed the players and praised them for their efforts in Cameroon, saying it was now time to look ahead to the task of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
”You have tried your best. It was just unfortunate that you failed to reach the final. But, right now, what is left is the unfinished business of qualification for Qatar 2022.
” We should put behind us 2021 AFCON, and start preparing for the final qualifiers,” he said.
The team captain, Ahmed Musa, later told newsmen that the team had put behind it the disappointment of failing to reach its target at the 2021 AFCON.
”We are now looking forward to the World Cup qualifiers against Ghana’s Black Stars in March. But right now it is back to club business for us,” he said.
Super Eagles, after three straight wins in the group stage which earned them the tag of favourites, could not go beyond the second round.
They lost 0-1 to Tunisia in a match which saw them being reduced to 10 men just after the hour mark.
The players are expected to return to their respective clubs.