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Pinnick: Preparations for AFCON 2019 to start now

Pinnick: Preparations for AFCON 2019 to start nowPresident of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, has said preparation for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will start in earnest after the Super Eagles’ elimination from the FIFA World Cup on Tuesday.

The Super Eagles lost 2-1 to perennial bogey team Argentina in Saint Petersburg, even when it appeared they were cruising with five minutes left in the encounter. Pinnick said the depression was more about getting so close to a place in the knockout rounds and yet having to go home early from football’s biggest house party.

“It was sad losing out when it appeared easier to progress from the group stage. I believe the players did their utmost and wanted to get the better of Argentina for the first time at the World Cup. Losing that way, with few minutes to go, really dampened the spirit.

“We apologize to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians from far and near, those who came to Russia to support the team and those who watched on television.

“For the moment, we have to start preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which is only 12 months away, as well as intensify the preparation of the Falconets (U-20 women team) and the Super Falcons (senior women team) for major championships coming up soon.”

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