Patrick Pascal insists Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi is right to make World Cup qualification his priority.
Nigeria have a make-or-break World Cup qualifier against the Harambee Stars of Kenya in Nairobi on June. They will travel to Windhoek to face the Brave Warriors of Namibia on June 12 in another World Cup qualifier
The Eagles will take on Oceania champions Tahiti in their first match in the FIFA Confederations Cup in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on June 17. Keshi says World Cup qualification for the country is his top priority.
“I will choose qualifying for the World Cup each time,” SuperSport.com quoted the former Eagles captain as saying on Wednesday.
“The FIFA Confederations Cup is also good but nothing beats or compares to the World Cup; that is the real deal.”
Speaking to our correspondent on the telephone during the week, Pascal said Keshi had made a wise choice
“I completely agree with him,” the former Turkey and Belgium-based Eagles defender said.
“If a woman wears a wedding gown and didn’t getting to the venue for her wedding she hasn’t wed, and she will not be addressed as a married woman.
“We’ve qualified for the Conferations Cup and the Eagles will feature in the tournament being African champions. But they have yet to qualify for the World Cup
“Nigeria can’t afford to miss the World Cup in Brazil next year. So the team must do everything to get us there.
“Keshi won’t be happy if the country is not there. He knows there will be much problems if we don’t qualify.
“Keshi also knows what he will get if we qualify for the World Cup he leads Nigeria to a respectable outing in the championship.
“He’s right. The Confederations Cup is important, but it shouldn’t be our priority.”
The versatile Bauchi-born ex-Shooting Stars player tipped Nigeria to pick up three points in their World Cup qualifier against Kenya.
“Kenya have not beaten Nigeria and it will not be different this time around,” he said.
Pascal, who was on the alternate list along with Abiodun Baruwa, Ndubuisi Ndah and Jonathan Akpoborie when Nigeria won football gold at the Atlanta’96 Olympic, however warned the Eagles not to underrate their opponents.