Eagles must mind their business on the pitch, remain disciplined and ignore possible act of antagonism if they are to emerge victorious Sunday in Morocco.
Former Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission (NSC) Hon. Bala Kaoje who gave the charge hailed the CHAN Eagles for making it this far, noting that what is needed ahead of the final is complete focus and determination.
Kaoje is making the submission amidst fears expressed by analysts that the Eagles will be playing not just against the Moroccan team but against the entire host nation in the 80,000 Grand Stade de Casablanca
“The Eagles have done well so far and have improved while progressing to the final. What they need now is focus. The players and coaches must work together and avoid distractions. They just have to ignore effect of home support for their opponents and mind their business on the pitch,” he said
Prior to Eagles defeat of Sudan and eventually qualification for the final, a cross section of soccer fans in the country had expressed their preference to meet Libya in the final, noting that playing the hosts will not be a tea party as the vociferous home fans and their antics may be intimidating.
CHAN Eagles coach Salisu Yusuf has however dismissed the fears insisting that his boys are ready to take the bull by the horns on Sunday. Despite having about four players sidelined by injury and caution, Yusuf who admitted that the clash will not be easy however said his boys are determined to hold their own.
“We are happy to be in the final and we are determined to play and achieve victory. Yes we have some players sidelined but we good to go,” he enthused
DR Congo won the maiden edition of the Championship reserved for players plying their trade at home in 2009 in defeating Ghana 2-0 in Abidjan. Tunisia claimed the second edition hosted by Sunday in 2011 defeating Angola 3-0. Libya who incidentally will be playing the third place match against Sudan in Morocco clinched the third edition hosted by South Africa beating Ghana 4-3 on penalty after the encounter ended 0-0 at regulation time.
The 2016 edition in Rwanda provided DR Congo another opportunity to clinch the title for the second time beating Mali 3-0 at the Stade de Amahoro.
Both Nigeria and Morocco are playing in the final of the championship for the first time.