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Martins warns Nigeria

Posted by By Oluwashina Okeleji, BBC Sport, Abuja on 2005/10/10 | Views: 871 |

Martins warns Nigeria


Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins has said their failure to qualify for next year's World Cup should kick-start the reform of football administration in the country.

Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins has said their failure to qualify for next year's World Cup should kick-start the reform of football administration in the country.


"It's terrible [not qualifying for the World Cup] but this [failure] is a lesson," he told BBC Sport on Saturday.


"We failed to take chances during the qualifiers and have paid dearly for it."


Nigeria beat Zimbabwe 5-1 on Saturday but could not pick the World Cup ticket, after Angola became Group Four winners, following their 1-0 win over Rwanda in Kigali.


"We did all we could [to qualify] and finished off our last game perfectly.


"But when destiny plays a cruel one on you, you have to move on and concentrate on the future," Martins advised.


With next year's African Cup of Nations taking place in less than four months, Martins said his colleagues are determined to lift the trophy, as a way to appease Nigerian fans who are bitterly disappointed with their failure to book passage to Germany 2006.


"With the World Cup dream over, we have to concentrate on the Cup of Nations.


"The players have resolved to do well in Egypt [by winning the trophy], that would go a long way in compensating the fans.


"But the Nigeria FA will have to be more organized for us to achieve that."

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