By ESPNsoccernet staff
Nigeria legend Nwankwo Kanu has called on the Super Eagles to put their recent failure to qualify for next year’s African Nations Cup behind them, and focus on qualifying for the next tournament.
A dramatic 2-2 draw with Guinea in Abuja ten days ago saw Nigeria miss out on a place in January’s finals, with the visitors winning Group B by three points to secure their passage to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
It is the first time since 1998 that the Super Eagles will not take part in the continental showpiece, and a decision is expected to be made soon on the future of coach Samson Siasia, with the notoriously trigger-happy Nigerian Football Federation almost certain to sack him.
But despite the strong ill-feeling about the qualification failure among both the Nigerian FA and the wider public, former Arsenal and Ajax striker Kanu – who made a record 87 appearances for the national team -believes it is time to move on.
“Yes, I can understand the pain being felt by Nigerians, as a former national team player myself,” Kanu said. “I can also feel how sad the players are. But the truth is that we just have to pick up ourselves and move on.
“What has happened has happened, but life must go on. Qualifiers [for the 2013 African Nations Cup] begin early next year and so we have no time to dwell on the ouster but must begin in earnest to plan for the competition.”