FEATURE ARTICLE

Cyril C. NwokejiMonday, September 8, 2014
cyril.nwokeji@wol.be
Belgium

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A SHOCKING HOME DEFEAT TO CONGO BRAZAVILLE:
THE LOGICAL CONSEQUENCE OF A CONFUSED NFF

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ne must confess that in my patriotic fervour, I was shocked beyond words, on learning of the unexpected home defeat of the Super Eagles, by the "Red Devils," of Congo Brazaville. But when one allowed the patriotic sentiments to die down, one realised that it couldn't have been different, considering the many obstacles the gallant Super Eagles players and their coaches faced in their preparation for the match. Soccer matches nowadays are firstly won in the board room of the football association, before victory could be translated through the coaches and players to victory on the field of play. Gone are the days when a group of hastily assembled players, without the necessary administrative back-up, and sometimes without decent coaching, won matches, mainly on the strength of their individual talent. Nigeria, one must confess benefitted from this rather awkward style of soccer management; and sometimes with unimaginable success! But helaas, gone are those days; soccer has gone scientific, these days a nation must carefully plan her national teams' success. Victories nowadays, hardly happen through accidental happenstance! The success of Germany at the last FIFA world cup competition, was as a consequence of a very carefully articulated soccer management programme, that spanned 14 long years! These days, there can be no success in soccer without planning. Nigeria, must learn a big lesson from this new brand of soccer management; there are no two ways about it. African nations, are fast learning this lesson in soccer management; this is evidenced by the fact that there are no more small teams in African soccer. Nigeria must re-adjust, or else we shall find ourselves playing the catch- up game, even in African soccer!

How do we get ourselves out of this latest soccer moerass?

Firstly, sanity must return to the NFF, this is the first step to getting things right. The present squabbles with FIFA over the NFF 'elections,' is undesirable; it is a highly unwellcome distraction. One expects the highly respected Mr. Chris Giwa, to give up his position, as 'NFF President,' since his election was not according to FIFA statutes. Being arrogant and recalcitrant, wouldn't be helpful to him and certainly not the nation. One expects as a successfull man, he has sufficient common sense to realise the implications, both to him self and the nation of a FIFA ban, as a consequence of failure to give-up his unrecognised position as 'NFF President.'One must however add that latest information indicate that Mr. Giwa, has actually left or rather been coerced out of his 'office,' as' NFF president.'

Secondly, the contract of coach Keshi, must be extended without delay. The home defeat to Congo Brazaville, should sound a very big alarm signal to our soccer administrators, to act fast, before it gets late! The level of motivation of a coach contracted on a substantive basis, cannot be compared to the motivational level of an interim coach.

Thirdly, the Super Eagles players should be motivated to do better in subsequent matches; may be by way financial encouragements.

On a final note, Nigerians shouldn't give up hope on our chances of qualification for 'Morocco 2015. 'I believe qualification for the Nations cup competition, is still possible. There are five matches left to be contested; all hope is not lost. The Super Eagles have demonstrated several times in the past, their ability, to come back from the brink of failure to get unexpected success; I believe this wouldn't be an exception. I also believe very much in the maxim: " Every disappointment, is a blessing. " I believe this latest failure in our soccer, will catalyse the bringing of sanity to the NFF.

This we hope and pray: "Iseeeeeh,"

UP SUPER EAGLES, UP NIGERIA.

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