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Super Eagles: A Symbolic Reality of Nigeria
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
September 6, 2009
 

 

I just finished watching the disappointing game between Nigeria and Tunisia, which took place in Abuja.  It was considered the World Cup decider between the two teams to see who will get the sole ticket from their qualification group.  The Tunisians needed a draw to maintain their two points lead while Nigeria needed a win to have a one point lead in Abuja.  Based on the seriousness of this game, Nigeria brought out their best physically, mentally, and psychologically and the game ended up being a 2-2 draw.  This is a genuine and authentic reality that Nigeria as a nation is not fit for anything respectable on the world stage. 

Nigeria is a nation that justifies its mediocrity instead of learning from the past.  While the Tunisians, who are supposed to fasting in Ramadan and even requested that Nigeria moves the game past sunset (after they break their fast for the day), came to get a 2-2 draw in Nigeria, Nigeria strategically went to get a 0-0 draw in Tunisia instead of taking the fight to them in their domain.  So if at the end a miracle happens and we are tied on points, the Tunisians will still qualify on head-to-head rule since their tie had more goals involved on Nigerian soil.  You do not bring a fight to your house and put pressure on yourself; rather, you meet halfway or take the fight and pressure to theirs.  Yesterday, Brazil went to almighty Argentina not only to get a 3-1 victory, but also secured the World Cup ticket with the victory.  Nigeria on the other hand, cannot maintain a lead for more than five minutes twice on its own soil and on a World Cup deciding match. 

 

Before Nigeria can get anywhere as a nation, we must learn to put truth and honesty before ethnicity, religion, and respect for authority.  The truth is that Tunisia outplayed Nigeria in Abuja.  They had better chances, better missed opportunities, better ball control, and could have beaten Nigeria.  They came with a strategy, followed through, and got their desired result.  Nigeria on the other hand, came with physical power and faith instead of strategy, which where clearly neutralized by the more composed Tunisians.   

Nigeria is living on faded glory and the time has come for all African nations to sit on Nigeria’s head as a failed and fallen giant.  Nigeria always has a problem playing against teams that do not respect them.  To this day, we have a problem playing against the North Africans and Cameroon at senior level.  We hardly get a clear victory, if any at all.  It is either a draw, a lucky one goal win, or we slide by through penalties, despite all our big names in Europe.  This is what Nigeria has become.  A nation the Black world hopes will stand and lead it to its destiny and a nation the West, Asians, and Arabs fear will rise someday and rival them in global affairs, but year after year, generation after generation, Nigeria always fails to deliver and justifies the perceived inferiority of the African for the world to emphasize.   

It was clear to all thinking Nigerians that Nigeria was not going to do well in this game.  Many where hoping for the usual lucky one goal win, because there was evidence that Nigeria was not fully prepared days to the match.  I read an interview where the Nigerian coach claimed that the purpose of inviting Seyi Olofinjana was to tackle Jaidi, who is supposed to be Tunisia’s captain.  But days before in the news, I saw a list of the chosen Tunisian team that was going to play the match and Jaidi was not listed.  So the Nigerian coach did not only have to lie to justify the presence of Seyi, but was also unaware of the Tunisian squad that was set against Nigeria.  This means that Nigeria was preparing for a match without prior knowledge of the make up of the opposing team, unable to decipher their strategy based on the team make up, know what Nigerian player will take each Tunisian player based on the perceived strategy, then come up with a game plan for victory.  It was clear to me then that Nigeria was going to play a power and faith football rather than a strategic one. 

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Whenever I see Seyi Olofinjana, Yobo, and Kanu on the Nigerian squad, I already know that it is not a truly prepared Nigerian team, but rather, a team built on past glory and respect for some authoritative person or group.  Seyi is one player that has no business in any Nigerian team.  There has never been a time I could gladly account for his presence in the team and neither can any descent Nigerian I know of, but miraculously, he is always present.  I do not know if it is because he is from a major ethnic group that may rebel or that he has a powerful relative in the sports or football circles, but various Nigerian coaches have being unable to get rid of this pain from our national team. Any honest Nigerian who puts truth before respect and watches the English Premiership League on a regular basis today would tell you that Yobo and Kanu have passed their time.  Kanu now cannot even secure more than a one year contract for the past 3 years with a mediocre team in England (Portsmouth).  While other younger and more determined African players are securing a 3-5 year contract extensions at the top rated clubs in Europe, Kanu got a ONE MONTH contract at the beginning of the season - what an insult to be added to the Nigerian team at this stage!!! I am not only depressed whenever I see Kanu in our national colors today, but I was praying on my knees that Kanu should not score or make the assisting pass because Nigerians will use that as a justification why Kanu must remain in our national team at all cost. 

 

Nigeria does not deserve to be in the 2010 World Cup nor does it deserve any ounce of global respect.  The least any nation can do for itself is to elect good and noble leaders with vision regardless of ethnicity, religion, or respect.  Good Presidents and good Governors with vision love to be celebrated for their legitimate accomplishments after they leave office.  So they are forced to elect good ministers and good commissioners.  Good ministers and good commissioners will have no choice but to perform because good Presidents and good Governors will fire them or get them arrested for delaying or diverting their accomplishments.  As long as the good Presidents and good Governors feel that their vision is been accomplished based on the performance of their good ministers and good commissioners, and they long for that celebration of a good name after they leave office, the people will have no choice than to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled by their result of good governance.  If Nigeria cannot naturally get its act together, then I pray that MEND should be able to destroy all the oil facilities in Nigeria now that the amnesty period is over or God should send brimstones down from heaven Himself to either dissolve Nigeria as we know it or force us to elect good leaders while we miss out on World Cup 2010.