By Richard Jideaka, Abuja:
President of Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick has expressed optimism that the recent setbacks in Nigerian football can only spur the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia
"What has been happening to Nigerian football in time may be God's design for Nigeria to qualify for the World Cup," Pinnick said in Abuja.
"I believe our recent setbacks will pave way for Super Eagles' qualification, by the grace of God, we shall qualify. It is not an easy call but we shall go the extra mile with the players and officials to make it.
"We are not going to leave any stone unturned in an effort to qualify for Russia, that is why we have gone all the way to engage a foreign coach that shares our sentiment to be at the World Cup in 2018. It is not an easy task but we are focused and committed to meeting our target."
Pinnick, whose tenure as NFF boss has seen an unprecedented number of Nigerian teams failing to qualify for tournaments, is not fazed by the quality of opposition the Super Eagles face in their quest to reach Russia 2018.
He added: "We know that being drawn against the likes of Africa's top ranked team, Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia in the same World Cup group is a tough call but we have our game plan and hopefully it will go as planned. And to show our seriousness, we have given the new coach Rohr the green light to use the dead rubber AFCON qualifier against Tanzania to prepare for the World Cup duel in Zambia."
The Eagles face Tanzania in Uyo on Saturday in an inconsequential AFCON qualifier as both teams have already been eliminated.