Monday 11 February 2013

Super Eagle's A Repeat Of History

AFCON 2013 in the Rainbow Nation(South Africa) is now history.Super Eagles of Nigeria won the keenly contested tournament. Eagle's sweet and timely victory is a repeat of 1980 and 1994 victories.By that yesterday's record, Nigerian national team is among the four most victorious teams in the history of AFCON.
The Eagles started the campaign on a "weak note" because their first two matches ended draws.Thereafter, they improved  by each game.Their most difficult encounter was the quarter final tango with Ivory Coast. Ivorian Elephants were the tournament's favorites because of the quality of players in the squad and the experience of Ivorian players in playing major tournaments in their club in Europe and other well organized leagues. Despite these factors, the Eagles proved book makers wrong by resoundingly defeating the elephants with relative ease. Sequel to their encounter with the Elephants, it became clear that the team isn't a push-over as assumed. Super Eagles knocked off all opponents until they were declared winners.
After their first two matches the coaching crew came under heavy criticism from sport administrators, fans and commentators. A vote of no confidence was almost declared on Stephen Keshi et al. All  saw his/their exit after the tournament as fait accompli. At some point, Kishi expressed his frustration on views of people about his performance in a press conference.However, history has set him free especially on his decision to dilute the national team with local players. One of such local boys Mr.Sunday MBA of Enugu Rangers has written his name in gold because his two goals in the tournament were crucial to the over all victory of the team. Mr.Keshi's experiment should have a ventilating space in future planning.
It's about time Nigeria inject transparency  in their local league because it is now clear that that strategy will go along way in solving troubles associated with Europe based professional that their clubs are always reluctant in releasing them for crucial national assignments. Similarly, it will at the same time encourage competition between players on getting a national jersey. No doubt the local league shall improve because players will give in their best conscious of the fact that, they have a chance to be call to the national team irrespective of the local status of their league.
Finally NFF should begin to work out other sources of funding their activities.Subventions from governments isn't in tandem with global pattern of football financing. Their over reliance on governments is boomeranging due to political and bureaucratic bottlenecks concomittant with conduct of government policy on timely release of finances for programmes and tournaments. Nigeria is a huge economy with trans-nationals having a good time due to the population of the nation.The country also have business moguls who made Fobes list of the most richest people on earth. They should partner with them and work out independent ways of financing their programmes. If deliberate steps of sourcing finances outside governments are taken, governments will be willing to intervene by using their strong political will to get the corporate world and individuals finance their activities.
Let  this victory not becloud their sense of planning because there are World Cup qualifiers around the corner, under 17 tournament in Morocco, and under 21 in Algeria. Again, there are other numerous female football tournaments lined up for this year and 2014. NFF and all  major stakeholders in Nigerian football must get back to the war room and draw a roadmap that will revolutionalize Nigerian football in a short while.
To  NELSPRUIT , Restenburg, Durban and Johannesburg- so long. And to Morocco and Algeria- here we come.

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