Tuesday, March 29 will stay a nightmare for many Nigerian soccer followers for it was the day that their darling Super Eagles did not qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Had the Eagles soared over the Black Stars of Ghana to achieve Qatar, it will have been their seventh look on the FIFA World Cup and their fourth consecutive look.
Unfortunately, the three-time African champions did not raise their recreation when it mattered most, thereby leaving their teeming followers with a bitter tablet to swallow.
Indeed, the tablet was so bitter that some indignant followers vented their anger and disappointment instantly as they invaded the MKO Abiola stadium pitch and vandalised properties once they failed to put their arms on the gamers who had simply prompted them insufferable ache.
The misadventure on March 29 makes it the second time since 1994 that Nigeria has did not qualify for the senior World Cup. The first mishap occurred in 20006 when the Super Eagles misplaced the ticket to Germany 2006 to Angola in Kano on the away purpose rule.
The present failure by the Super Eagles is a impolite shock to many Nigerians as a result of in current occasions, the senior nationwide staff had not loved the form of overwhelming help that it received forward of the must-win conflict with the Black Stars of Ghana.
Considering the truth that the primary leg of the CAF third spherical qualifiers in Kumasi had ended 0-0, and the Ghanaians going into the return leg in a extra advantageous place, the federal authorities and the Nigeria Football Federation took it upon themselves to mobilise Nigerians to come back out en masse to cheer the Super Eagles within the second leg of the fixture.
Consequently, after CAF accredited Nigeria’s request to have the over 60,000 capability MKO Abiola stadium crammed up, the ministry of sports activities and the NFF instantly went to work in a bid to mobilise Nigerians to fill all of the accessible seats.
In order to woo the followers to the stadium, the federal government offered over 100 buses to offer free rides to followers in Abuja and neighbouring states. In addition, the NFF secured 20,000 match tickets which have been distributed to the followers. Other philanthropic Nigerians like Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and Chief Donatus Agu-Ejidike additionally bought hundreds of tickets which have been distributed to followers. And on the day of the match, the federal government declared a half working day for public servants to shut in time to attend the essential match.
Interestingly, the technique adopted by the ministry of sports activities and the NFF yielded constructive outcomes as for the second time because it was inaugurated in 2003, the mainbowl of the MKO Abiola nationwide stadium was crammed to capability.
It was, subsequently, the suitable setting for the staff to soar to Qatar. Unfortunately, that was to not be because the Super Eagles repeated the identical errors in Kumasi that denied them no less than an away purpose that will have made the return leg much less dicey for them.
Eguavoen failed to organize his staff to assault in a couple of approach and the Black Stars exploited this technical deficiency to most benefit. The Super Eagles remained predictable so there was nothing to shock their arch-rivals.
Napoli teen, Victor Osimhen did his greatest to save lots of Super Eagles World Cup ambition however as they are saying, a tree cannot make a forest so all his huffing and puffing on the MKO Abiola stadium got here to naught because the Black Stars shone to their fourth World Cup.
For Eguavoen, it’s nothing however an ignominious report as a result of he was a part of the technical crew that did not qualify Nigeria for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Therefore, 2022 provided him a uncommon alternative to make amends however he was outsmarted by his reverse quantity in Ghana’s dug out, Otto Ado, whose tactical tweak at half-time utterly confounded the previous Super Eagles captain.
Speaking to journalists, the Ghanaian coach stated his gamers tailored very effectively within the second half of the second-leg tie in Abuja.
And throughout a post-match evaluation, former Super Eagles ahead, Daniel Amokachi, stated the staff’s poor perspective and lack of urgency price them a spot within the finals in Qatar.
According to him, they did not need to be in Qatar as their perspective was not one of the best as he reiterated angrily that the gamers have been nonchalant of their play.
He additional questioned the rationale behind Eguavoen’s reluctance to take off Calvin Bassey who appeared exhausted as he was seen holding his waist on a number of events.
NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, regretted that the staff did not qualify regardless of the large help of the federal government and Nigerians, who turned out of their numbers to replenish the large stadium.
“There was nothing the team needed that was lacking. The Government provided necessary support; the NFF put all logistics in place with the active support of the sports ministry and Nigerians turned out en masse to support the team. The truth is that we left nothing to chance. It is sad that things turned out the way they did,” he stated in a press release.
NFF’s stance was re-echoed when the minister of sports activities, Sunday Dare rued the chance misplaced regardless of placing every little thing humanly potential for the staff to win.
“On our half, the Federal Government gave each help essential. We received the stadium prepared in all its glory. We mobilised Nigerians and different soccer lovers to replenish the stadium. The NFF referred to as up a strong forged of gamers.
“60,000 voices sang the National anthem in what must have been one of the most uplifting moments one could imagine. The fans gave their vocal support till the very end,” he stated.
He, nevertheless, stated there was a necessity to revive the DNA of Nigerian soccer whereas returning to the grassroots.
“We will transfer rapidly as a result of we nonetheless have quite a lot of work to do to offer Nigerians the calibre of senior staff it deserves. We will assessment all that we did resulting in the sport, take powerful steps to redirect the event of our soccer and restore the DNA of Nigerian soccer. Whatever is critical will probably be accomplished quietly, firmly and determinedly.
“We need to rebrand our football and return to the grassroots and youth football culture of the past. Nigeria is a football-loving Nation and it deserves the best,” he concluded.
The first casualty of the current failure of the Super Eagles is the staff’s technical crew which was sacked on Thursday by the NFF.
The soccer federation in a press release stated a brand new teaching crew that may lead the staff in its future engagements can be introduced quickly.
“The NFF has within the meantime withdrawn the two-and-half years contract provided the coaches and terminated the appointment of your entire technical crew of the staff with speedy impact.
“A brand new crew will probably be introduced after a correct assessment to steer the brand new cost of reinvigorating the Super Eagles to face future challenges appropriately.
“We thank the coaches and team officials for their service to the nation and wish them success in their future endeavours,” stated NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi.
The gamers are additionally not spared as most Nigerians have demanded the disbandment of the current Super Eagles for collection of extra dedicated and patriotic ones.
A soccer coach, Austin Tyowua stated “Most Nigerians have misplaced confidence within the Super Eagles however I counsel in opposition to throwing away the child with the tub water.
“I need the gamers who confirmed adequate capacity and dedication through the simply concluded World Cup qualifiers to be allowed to type the nucleus of the brand new Super Eagles.
“So I support overhauling of the team but it must be done with utmost caution else it will backfire,” he admonished.