May 23, 2024

AFCON COTE D’IVOIRE 2023 AND THE SUPER EAGLES of Nigeria

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The AFCON is barely 100 hours to kickoff. Nations are rounding up with preparations and tension continues to grow, as the biggest battle for the best African football tournament organized by CAF draws near daily.

How ready are the Super Eagles of Nigeria and who would take the big blame in case they fail badly this time around? Would it be the NFF, the Ministry of Sports, the head coach, or the players?

Would it be enough to hold Jose Peseiro accountable for the failures or even success of the Super Eagles at the AFCON 2023? Definitely not. I want to believe the Super Eagles coach wouldn’t be held responsible for the results in AFCON 2023. There were circumstances surrounding both his appointment and his contract extension with the NFF, which was somehow shifted to the nations cup 2023. Coupled with claims it was because there were no funds to lay him off and hire a new coach at this short period (though the NFF earlier had several months to decide on his faith.) Who are the ones behind the technical decisions made on behalf of Peseiro at this point? Could the Portuguese gaffer truly be in charge of making important decisions for this Super Eagles team?
Eyes are watching and the warnings have long been voiced out.

In my opinion, the head coach of the SE at this point has no say and his employers have one way or the other submitted that the coach isn’t what they wanted and have to only hold on to him until after the AFCON. This precisely tells that ‘the coach cannot be the one running things at this point.’ While the head coach still claims certain very important decisions aren’t his, the NFF contrary submits that it is working based on the submissions of their head coach.

As a football administrator, I want to believe in my instincts at this juncture, and no longer what I’ve studied in books or out of experience learned so well. Is this going to be the time for Nigeria to pay for its inability to turn these bunch of super talents coming out of this black populous nation into the joy it’s population longs for?

One will continue to analyze and try to bring to light accurate inferences on what one sees as truth and going forward, would frequently submit and remind us of the several situations we earlier faced and outrightly pointed out before the wrong decisions were deliberately preferred. Remember, in sane societies, when you make such decisions and they fail, you own up, apologize and most times throw the banter to the next capable party to take over.

Has someone agreed taking responsibility for the continuous mess we seem to be recycling with the ill performances of our senior national team in the last years? As far as I understand, the people calling the shots are still hiding in the background and scared of showing themselves up. They tend to feel they are the ones on top of their game but we feel they aren’t competent enough and that’s why they can’t show themselves up!

The NFF President knows this is the federation’s first big test. The Super Eagles is like a “thesis” at this point and the NFF the scholar, and AFCON 2023 is the big examiner. Yes, the NFF has to prove to Nigerians that this is the product they’ve so worked on after a long while. Will Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau be quiet and watch his main instrument (the Super Eagles) continue to be tossed around like a soccer ball or can he motivate this crop of players to make a difference for themselves, the NFF, and Nigerians at large?

In the end, I pray our players get themselves together during this Nations Cup and don’t come out frustrated as they seemed in our last World Cup qualifying games. The quality for sure is there! AFCON 2023 is here!
“Let’s Do It Again”!

By Austin A.
Galaxy Sports

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