By Nelson Ekujumi
Just yesterday night(29/11/11), I watched the Under 23 National team 5 that was formerly called dream team lose its second match to Senegal in the ongoing qualifiers to determine Africa’s representatives for the football event at next year’s Olympics game. I just couldn’t believe my eyes that this bunch of players could be paraded by the NFF as the representatives of the Nigerian people.
I was even angrier when I heard in the news report this morning that the coach on secondment to the team, Stephen Keshi complained that the team lost the match because they didn’t play to instruction. Oh, what a shame that the newly appointed coach of the Super Eagles watched a different match from the one we all saw yesterday because there was no footballer in the that team. The team from the head coach to players are all misfits. You couldn’t figure out a footballer in that team. They lacked fitness, couldn’t mark, hold the ball or even distribute it. We could have saved ourselves this national embarrassment if we had gone to any of our maternity centers to pick eleven pregnant women who would have performed better than these boys.
The price we are paying now is what befalls any people and system that rewards cheats and failures at the expense of hard work. The NFF is the only football body in the world where people who have repeatedly failed at one level or the other are recycled just like in our political life, hence our pitiable condition in the comity of civilized people. Look at the roll call of the membership of the NFF and let any one of them point to his /her individual achievement in their personal capacity before being saddled with the task of managing the destiny of a country of over 160 million people which they have toyed with.
To think that this miserable team could have salvaged whatever glory was left of our football after all the national and local clubsides teams crashed out of every major international competition that we entered for at the female and male levels under the leadership of Alhaji Maigari NFF this year was like a like pipe dream. The Under 23 team is a disappointment and an embarrassment to the psyche of the Nigerian people, the board of the NFF must take full responsibility for this show of shame by resigning now.
The only road to success in life is through diligent planning and hard work rather than luck. Until we get men and women who are knowledgeable, focused and sincere on board the management of our football just like in our political life, the only way to go for our football is down, with these undertakers in charge.
As we approach the year 2012, one fervently hopes and prays that the members of the board of the NFF who still have any atom of shame left in them will be sober enough to realize the extent of damage they have done to our collective destiny by the failures of 2011 in football at all levels by resigning now. To the Alhaji Maigari led NFF, the time to go is now because enough is enough!