The Yorubas have a proverb, that the food that would satisfy one, can be discerned from observation. There is another proverb I would like to share, that it is in the daytime you look for a black goat. These two witty sayings, encapsulate the current state of Nigerian football.
To all grieving Nigerian football fans, my condolences, I share your grief, but feel no pain. I did my grieving over two years ago! The first proverb, was my first emotional leg I stood on, for support. I looked at this team, and concluded that they were going to disgrace us. I knew it was better for us not to qualify for the world cup, my reason was that our disgrace would only be restricted to Africa. The world cup was too big a stage for us to disgrace ourselves.
We are there now, and we have been sliding down the slippery slope of shame. We are in danger of coming last at the tournament.
Before today, Greece had not even won a match at any of her previous tournaments. They are that terrible.
The second proverb, simply demands, that we do what we need to do in good time. Shuaibu Amodu, was never our problem. He is what the Americans call a "fall guy", or scapegoat.
The people who manage our football are! The Nigerian Football Association,NFA, a k a No Future Ambition, is organized in such a way as to prosper the civil servants who run the association, to the detriment of our football. The prosperity of our football, is not their priority.
Every action in that association, is targeted at making money for the officials, an allegation was made by one of the people who vied for the eagle's manager's job, that someone had demanded for bribe from him. He was criticized for being a sore looser. I believed him then, and I still believe him now.
We have officials who sacrifice the success of our football, for foreign currency.
So what is the solution? Disband the NFA, this will force FIFA to suspend us from world football.In that time, to plan our football, like Ghana has evidently done ,successfully. I know this would not be acceptable to many, but we need a break from tournaments, to plan.
We should begin from the age grade teams, we should groom young men who are truly young. Iker Casillas, has been Spain's goalkeeper for eight years, he is just twenty five years. We do not have any player of his caliber in our national team. When a Nigerian player tells you he is twenty five, you need to add an extra fifteen to twenty years to that figure, to get his true age. The story is told of Phillip Osundu, a Nigerian under seventeen player, who was bought by a team in Europe ,some years ago.
He had a problem, he was not very tall. So the club started giving him growth hormones, and other stimulants. To their dismay, the young man did not grow upwards, he only expanded sideways, his biological clock was older than his football age.
I believe that the young men who lost to Switzerland in the last tournament organized in Nigeria last year, ought to be the senior national team now. But we deceived the world, and fielded them as teenagers. In truth, these are thirty something year old men. That is the Nigerian way, victory at any cost.
Our actions come to bite us in our collective deceitful backsides, six years after, the boys ought to be twenty three, but the truth is that they are actually thirty six!
They are like Yakubu Aiyegbeni, who claims to be twenty six, but looks forty two. He cannot run for more than twenty minutes in a match, his "engine" is leaking oil.
Kanu Nwankwo played for Iwuanyanwu United, before he played as a seventeen year old, that was impossible in Nigeria then. All you need to do now is look at King Kanu on the field, he looks like a tired horse past his prime. He falls over easily, he cannot shoot, he is blowing in the wind like my grandmother's threadbare wrapper.
That is Nigerian football.
Someone should dissolve the house of shame,NFA to spare us more shame, and pain!
Until they do,
and we begin to laugh again,
MAY GOD BLESS NIGERIA,MY NIGERIA FOREVER!