Wednesday, October 14, 2009
It is bad enough to boo your country's National Team in a game against another nation, but to boo your own National Anthem ? That is most despicable and unacceptable. Yet that is exactly what Nigerian football fans did at the Abuja National Stadium last saturday.
It still beats my imagination how the Super Eagles players got through what must have been a most harrowing experience for them - and right on their own home soil - to win that particular game. I have been doing an intensive soul searching to unravel the real problem of Nigerian football, and honestly I'm no longer so sure if it's the NFF,our coach or even the players. In the last year at least,I can testify confidently that these group have done what is expected of them. I am now more inclined to believe that the real problem might just be us - the so-called fans who do not realise that we also have responsibilites in supporting our teams from the stands.
Under no circumstances,least of all a football game, should we boo or show disrespect to our National Anthem.The event of last saturday must never repeat itself in our national life.
Nigeria will not be the first country to suffer a slump in her football fortunes.Brazil,England and Ghana,amongst many others have at various points suffered the same fate.With two matches to go,the World Cup ticket was still within our grasp.If the players had succumbed to the unexplainable intimidation from their own compatriots and lost that game,the whole party would have been over by now.With the crucial last game now approaching,it amazes me that some people who should know better,are actually threatening the coaches with sack.Now, what a way to motivate your team.
THE FLYING EAGLES IN EGYPT
The happenings in Egypt must have taught us some vital lessons.
*There are no short cuts in football; even if you have a Samson Siasia.
*Nigerian football is stagnating:We are simply not producing world class players anymore.
*Those who heaped blames on coach Amodu for the quick equalisers conceded against Tunisia should now realise how wrong they were.Our players are also short of world class mentality.
I cannot fault coach Siasia at all in the Egypt disaster.That was the best collection he could have made under the circumstances.If our strikers had taken just a quarter of the chances they created, we probably would have cruised to the final of that tournament. In goalkeeper Uche Okafor and defender Obiora Nwankwo, I believe we have good Super Eagles prospects.
The NFF must address issues bordering on the mental strength and alertness of our footballers at all levels.That is our current problem, and the solution is not in firing and insulting our coaches at will.