Supersand Eagles forward, Abdul Haruna, has declared that inadequate preparation robbed the team of the chance to qualify for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Tahiti.
Nigeria’s Supersand Eagles finished fourth at the Africa Beach Soccer Championship in El Jadida, Morocco thereby missing the World Cup. Champions, Senegal and runners-up, Ivory Coast qualified for the beach soccer Mundial in Tahiti.
Haruna said despite being poorly prepared for the qualifying championship they were still determined at grabbing one of the two slots reserved for the continent at the global fiesta.
“Late camping and poor preparation were responsible for our failure to pick a World Cup ticket in Morocco. We only had a five-day camping before we headed to Morocco for the African qualifier.
“Every country that featured at the championship in Morocco had a standard beach soccer league and prepared for months specifically for the competition.
“Other countries were shocked at our performances when they knew we merely camped for five days for the championship.
“We started very well against Libya and Egypt but things went wrong against Ivory Coast and when we squared up against Senegal in the semifinals we were still confident of winning the encounter and going ahead to qualify for the World Cup. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out exactly the way we planned it.
“We’re all sad when it dawned on us that it’s over for us as far as the World Cup party is concerned because despite the glaring shortcomings we were serious picking the ticket.
“Of course, if we had been able to pick the ticket we would have had more time to prepare before the World Cup and given the quality of players in the side we would have shocked the world in Tahiti,” said the Heartland man.
Haruna said the way forward to avoid a repeat performance of the incident in Morocco is to organise viable beach soccer league or long-term camping programme.
“The solution is either we run a functional league or we put in place a long-term camping and training and camping programme, no team can perform magic with five days training for a major competition,” he said.
The Nigerian contingent arrived the country from Morocco on Tuesday.