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LESSON FROM NIGERIA’S FAILURE TO QUALIFY FOR NEXT YEAR’S AFCON

LESSON FROM NIGERIA’S FAILURE TO QUALIFY FOR NEXT YEAR’S AFCON

It is no longer news that Nigeria Super Eagles will not be participating in next year’s African Cup of Nations holding in Gabon. This is as a result of Nigeria inability to beat the pharaohs of Egypt in her two headed qualifying matches. After the resignation of former Super Eagles handler, Mr. Sunday Oliseh, tongues were wagging, permutations made; blames were apportioned to Amadju Pinnick and his cohorts for employing Oliseh in the first place. Soccer enthusiasts were asking the rationale behind the employment of Oliseh and his abrupt resignation. Oliseh in his own part was crying wolf for bad treatment meted out to him by his employers.

Some of the key players who could have salvaged the situation when it mattered most threw in the towel for playing for our dear country, Nigeria. The sudden withdrawal by one of our opponents in the group, Chad added salt to already exposed injury. Our players’ nonchalant attitude to national duties was also among the reasons according to soccer fans we did not qualify. These are some of the reasons adduced by many Nigeria who after watching Nigeria fell 0-1 to seven times winners of African cup of nations, Pharaohs of Egypt on Tuesday, the 29th day of March in far away Alexandra. Analyzing the reason why we could not qualify, one will be writing an epistle. But then, I have to start with the NTF president, Chief AmadjuPinnick. We all knew how the current president of our football governing body, Amadju Pinnick election into that position was characterized with controversy and skirmishes. His case with Giwa is still pending in court as a result of this said election. That is one. Two, Sunday Oliseh whom he is well pleased was adjudged and nicknamed the Guadola of Africa which so many people expressed their apprehension of the mere mention of his name then.

Sunday Oliseh had never handled any big football team let alone coaching a national team as big as Nigeria. He was employed and his three months’ salary paid in advance. During his sojourn as Super Eagles Coach, many questioned his technical and tactical quotient to the game. We all saw where it landed us. Thirdly, Stephen Keshi won the Nations Cup for us though had his own short comings, but was unceremoniously butted out. When I knew we are in for it, was when the most capped player of the super Eagles, Vincent Enyeama and Westham of England striker, Emmanuel Emenike resigned within the space of two weeks that it downed on me that we are in trouble. Nobody can rule their experience in the team out.

Now, we have not qualified for the second editions after winning the cup in 2013. What will be the lessons we must learn from this national disgrace. One, the body overseeing the affairs of football should come together and make drastic decisions on the best ways of moving our football forward.

Those clamoring for the removal of Amadju Pininick should please shield their sword because that person who will take over from him if eventually he is removed may not be better off either. Our players on their own part should now know that playing for our country supersedes every other personal attachment they may have because even many of them resuscitate their dying soccer career by participating in the national duties like Nations Cup. Amadju Pinnick and his colleagues are now making moves to bring a foreign expatriate but were unable to pay our indigenous coaches anytime they employ them; what an irony. My question here is, is coaching our problem or our soccer administrations? This has added to the numerous economic challenges we are facing in the country at the moment. I urge every soccer loving Nigerian to see this disgrace as one of them.

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