President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Issa Hayatou, said Nigeria would be sorely missed during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
It probably goes without saying that the tournament will not be the same without its defending champions but for Hayatou, the great tragedy is that Nigeria are an African powerhouse with a big football following throughout the continent.
“The whole of Africa will miss Nigeria in Equatorial Guinea . But the absence will not in any way diminish your stature as a very big and influential nation in the African game,” Hayatou told the Nigeria Football Federation on Monday.
“It would have been good to have the defending champions in Equatorial Guinea. Nigeria brings so much value to the Africa Cup of Nations.
“However, we know that you will come back much stronger, as you did in winning the Cup in South Africa last year after missing out on the 2012 championship.”