by crossriverwatch admin
Malawi dreads Super Eagles record of unbroken victories in matches played in the Calabar venue that is why they have resorted to complaints to FIFA demanding for a change of venue in their final group match with the Eagles by citing security reasons.
Mr. Patrick Ugbe, the Cross River State Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development told CrossRiverWatch in Calabar on Tuesday that Malawi which needs and outright victory to proceed to the next stage of the World Cup qualifiers know that it would be tough for them to win Eagles in Calabar which only requires a draw to proceed.
“They are playing the mind game because I know that if they have security concerns in Nigeria or anywhere then they should be asking FIFA to take the match to Calabar and not asking the match to be taken away from Calabar to somewhere else because Calabar is always peaceful”.
Mr. Ugbe said the state has been hosting the Eagles which have had an unbroken track record of successes in the U J Esuene Sports Stadium and as such the Malawi national team wants the match taken elsewhere since winning the Eagles in Calabar would be a daunting task to them.
“That is why African football is not growing beyond the level it is now because it would be unthinkable for a European team to begin to raise concerns that do not exist because they want to have psychological impact on their opponent by making non existing claims”.
Football fans and Eagles management, Ugbe said are very comfortable with the U J Esuene stadium venue and are ever ready to throng the place from all over Nigeria and beyond to watch their darling team.
“The venue is safe and I can assure our Malawi friends to come and play their match without any fear because there is no where the match can be played that is safer than Calabar”.
Speaking on the state’s compressive Sports Development, Ugbe said the state is leading in school sports in the country and in a few years the state’s athletes would take over the national stage as well as the international sporting arena.
“In the ongoing World Athletics Championship, one of our athletes is competing in the 200 meters hurdles relay and I can assure you that in the next few years athletes from these state would take over the national stage”.
On the 2014 National Sports Festival scheduled for the state, Ugbe said once the rains stop, construction would begin in the indoor sports hall which would be the best in the country and of world class.
“When the construction of that indoor sports hall is completed, it would be of world class and would have no rival anywhere in the country” Ugbe assured.
Preparations he said have begun for the 2013 Obudu International Mountain Race which last year had a new race track and arrangements are in place to make athletes taking place in the event to get familiar with the new track which is ninety percent steep incline and a difficult terrain.
“Our track is one of the most difficult amongst all the mountain races in the world and our preoccupation now is to make sure athletes get familiar with the track they are running on”.
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