The Liberian President, Mr. George Weah, on Monday advised the Super Eagles to prepare early enough for the forthcoming world cup so as to have a fantastic campaign.
Weah, a former professional footballer, gave the advice in an interview with State House correspondents after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Liberian President also urged Nigerian sports authorities to make sure of a very conducive environment for the training.
He warned against a situation where players would be deprived of their allowances, saying such situation makes players to lose focus.
He said, “I think Nigerian team is a model, we all follow them.
“I have played with great Nigerian players, I played against them. Now you have a new generation, the fact that they qualified is a good thing for Nigeria.
“But I hope 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 World Cup, it is a pride to Africa and 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 problem.
“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.”
Weah recalled that he played in European setting where they did not have to worry about anything when they were in camp.
He said the only things they were doing in camp then were to shower and prepare for the games, saying there was no excuse not to perform because everything that players needed was provided.
“So, let the players not have excuse; support them and let them go and bring back that cup,” he told Nigerian sports authorities.
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 be monitoring developments in the sector.
The Liberian President said he had appointed a former player as the sports minister and that he would work with the minister to revamp the national team.
“Those techniques that made Liberia qualify twice and missed the World Cup three times, I will make sure that I work with him so that he can do the work and ensure that our athletes go and represent our country,” Weah promised.