When a few hours to the historic AFCON 2021 qualifying match between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and Leone Stars of Sierra Leone at the ultra-modern Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, Popular News did a report that the President of the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF), Pinnick Amaju, exhibited some signs of fret about the likely outcome of the match during a close contact in the lobby of the highbrow Protea Hotel where he and some others were lodged many armchair football analysts(so many of them are scattered all over the country) read meanings to the report.
In the first forty five minutes of the match such armchair analysts had a field especially at a stage when the Super Eagles (I am at a loss to really know what is super about them) were leading by a whopping four nil. By the time the game was coming to an end Super Eagles fans were praying silently that the match should not end on a more disastrous note for their team as the lowly rated Leone Stars were running rings around the over rated Super Eagles.
Lets take a look at previous records of Nigerian national soccer squads over time. What’s common story about Nigeria’s outing in previous matches is that we normally come from the fringes of defeat to either level up and win or lose narrowly. The historic Damman Miracle of the U-20 squad in the late 80s readily comes to mind. On this occasion Nigeria came from what can be described as the dead to overcome their opponents. Another instance was at the Olympics in USA 1996 when we shoved out the better fancied Brazil from 3 goals to 1. The Olympics feat resulted in Nigeria being the first African country to win the Olympics gold medal in Football.
It has never been recorded in history that any of our national teams will be leading by as much as four nil at a stage and their opponents will overrun them at the end of the day. So, it is reasonable from this to say that the players and technical crew that prosecuted the match with the Leone Stars are the worst in history.
Back in those days we were able to achieve much because we had a bunch of dedicated footballers, football administrators and technical crews. What we have now is a group of tourists camouflaging as football stars. The football administrators and the technical crews are the worst. Those we have now are contractors who are busy seeking for the next stadium contract that they will bid for. Who secure their position by virtue of the clout of the politicians sponsoring them.
Popular News thinks it is high time those representing us in such national assignments should be made to account for any poor/embarrassing result. This definitely will not be a strange order as legend has it that in the days of yore teams representing Uganda in any major tournament fear to go back to their country after any embarrassing result as they have the great Idi Amin Dada, who breeds no nonsense, to contend with on their return to Kampala, the country’s capital. Nigeria should henceforth adopt this method to stop this sloppy performance from players, officials and administrators who feed fat on scare resources but fail to deliver when it matters.
Popular News wants the government to start with this ‘Torgba Eagles’ who have brought Nigerians the worst disgrace in the history of our international engagements in football.