The “Super Sagles”: just like Nigeria

(BEFORE THE GAME): “We are very prepared, we don’t need any extra motivation for this game because we all want to be at the World cup, so we are looking forward to the game and very prepared for it” – Joseph Yobo
“All we want from our fellow Nigerians are their support and prayers because this may in the end be a game of luck. It is surely going to be tough” – Kan Nwankwo

(AFTER THE GAME): “Before this match, we had our fate in our hands, but the way it is now, it is very, very difficult; it is no longer in our hands” – Coach Amodu Shuaibu
“We sincerely apologise to all Nigerians….We were equally shocked by the outcome of the match” – NFF Chairman, Sani Lulu

Is there something at the heart of Nigeria’s rottenness today, which makes the dashing of our hopes the only certainty we can harvest? Why has our country become a cemetery of hopes and the meat grinder which takes happiness through a mill of excruciating pains? Could it be that those of us who attempt to document Nigeria and its problems do not even understand the depth of the rot which Nigeria has become- in all facets of our national life? Nigeria’s maiden of hope and honour was left in the care of serial rapists, thugs and bandits masquerading as rulers and things have gone completely awry!

Last weekend, Nigeria’s national team, the “Super” Eagles had what appeared a very clear task: defeat Tunisia, and seize the initiative to qualify us for the FIRST World Cup on the African continent! It seemed a simple assignment, at least from a conceptual perspective. What was needed was for the team to find the organization and professionalism to execute the task, against the backdrop of the potential rewards they could earn for themselves; but above all, for the patriotic emotions of the 140 million people of Nigeria! It was not just a game and it never gets any bigger than last Sunday’s. Nigerians were mobilized but ended with the heart-rending experience of watching a national team clearly devoid of passion, the tactical nous and even the physical conditioning to achieve a very clear task: Beat Tunisia!

The Tunisians had a definitive game plan which they courageously implemented. They got a draw just as our team chose to snatch defeat from the jaws of imminent victory. In the end, the team left our hopes badly shattered. It was déjà vu; because just three years ago, we needed to beat Angola in Kano to be sure of our chances of playing in the 2006 World Cup, and just like Sunday, the team did same to our hopes: dashed them! And like then, many are on the delusionary trip of “hoping” that Tunisia would falter, and somehow, Nigeria will sneak through the back door, into the December draws, in Cape Town. I think that will not happen; the combined irresponsibility of the team and handlers; a corrupt NFF and the philosophic environment in our country have ensured that we have come a cropper in trying to qualify for the World Cup.

Nigeria is truly the Federal Republic of amnesia! The structure of our national life has become so riddled with the attitude which discounts thinking through problems but valorizes an ad hoc approach; we do not painstakingly plan because the rigours associated with education, the scientific method and task setting have gradually retreated from our national life. The Nigerian ruling class is a thieving band of philistines, and since what reigns today is the cult of money, it is far easier to throw money at problems! Not for our ruling class a root and branch study of the problems which confront us and then securing the national expertise to find the patriotic solutions for such problems. In the case of the prosecution of this World Cup campaign, the Yar’adua regime set up a Presidential Task Force which has raised  over N800 million; but they have been far more concerned about raising the level of bonuses payable to the players; even the disastrous game against Tunisia, earned each player a handsome ten thousand dollars each! This is despite the emotional cliff hanger inflicted on every Nigerian.

The basic questions are not asked; the fact that dollars will not purchase a patriotic attitude nor turn around the rot in administration of the game and the technical ineptitude of the coaching crew means little. It is just like the billions being spent to host the Under-17 tournament, while forgetting that Nigeria needs a team for the event. The normal service of using over-age players was already being perfected until FIFA introduced MRI scanning and pronto, almost half of the Nigerian team was discovered to be over-age! Panic sets in, because those salivating over the billions they will cream off now know that Nigerians might scrutinize their affairs closely. Meanwhile, the NFF remains a notorious den of corruption and nepotism, where the controversial Amos Adamu has installed several of his cronies and relations, some of whom were directly accused of responsibility for the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of dollars!

This is the ambience within which our hopes for World Cup participation suffered a serious setback, last Sunday. Nigeria is dying by installments as a result of the choices which our ruling class made over the past quarter of a century. Corruption has eaten the soul of our nation, and no matter where we turn, the landscape is littered with incompetence; ineptitude and the dearth of know how. Education is a joke and the rational attitude which is the product of a critical educational process has given way to false religiousity and a crass fatalism; that is why each time the national team is to play, we are mobilized to PRAY for the team. As if other nations don’t pray! The Prophet Muhammad used to tell his followers to believe in Allah, but they should also tie their camels! In Nigeria, we have vulgarised belief and do not tie our camels! That is why we lurch from crisis to crisis, and like headless chickens, we harvest dashed hopes and the deep frustrations of living in a country whose football team will have an objective but cannot hold a slim advantage till the final whistle.  In matters of disappointing the citizenry, the “Super” Eagles are just like Nigeria!

Recently, VP Jonathan said, “Corruption is due to insecurity as most people accumulate wealth for fear of the future”. Interestingly, “in one month while (governor) the EFCC seized from his wife, N104 million…. That was August 2006, and the EFCC obtained a court order to freeze (the) N104 million….  Weeks later, on September 11, 2006, the EFCC seized $13.5 million from the same woman…. Nobody has ever said another word about these… monies…. (On becoming) Vice-President, Jonathan (also)... declare (d) his assets… put at a… conservative N295 million.  But… since (he was) Governor of Bayelsa for only 17 months, the arithmetic suggested he had grown pretty quickly, at over N17 million monthly”, according to Sonala Olumhense. Was that accumulating for “fear of the future”?
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nigeria......we pray we make it

If you watched the game you will agree Nigeria doesn't deserve to be in South Africa. Nothing about this team from the players to the Coaching team inspires confidence whatsoever. The manner Tunisia scored the second equalizing goal just highlights everything that's wrong with this team. A good team deserving of a world cup place playing at home will not let the Tunisians smell the ball talkless of scoring with just 10mins to go. Lack of commitment, vision, creativity, purpose, urgency this team deserves to be exaclty where they are. Nigerians are now looking up to countries like Ghana & Ivory Coast to do the continent proud. The Super Eagles(or is it chickens) as presently constituted are just not good enough.

I speak as Nigerian and the Support of our National team Super Eagle. what is right for NFA Technical to done.let me reply in same Charity again.I write this sometime ago In my face book, bego, call attend of Nigerians and NFA Governors board,Chairman's board of Directors.House committed on sports, and well Nigerian Individuals to agreed on call of President Yar'Adua.former Bolton Skipper JAY JAY August Okoch to returned to national team. He may not play for 90 minute but to led team in match to qualify for World Cup 2010 in South Africa. next year.There are keys players who have been contribute in last 10 years of developing football Institution in Nigeria national Coach can selection them back.My far is that Super Eagle shall not loss the remain of two match

If black men know who they are and what they want (dignity, self-respect), a country like Nigeria should not be expending public funds on sporting activities which should be totally privatised! Governnment involvement should be toprovide indivisible infrastructure (stadia, training centres). The return on sports investments has been consistently negative for Nigeria while creating multi-millionaires out of sports officials. The same Nigeria cannot find money to pay decent salaries to lecturers, teachers, doctors and nurses. China is not world football champion but it is now an emerging power in space technology, successfully putting Chinese astronauts in space! Imagine what benefits Nigeria would reap if the FG and the States shut down their sports ministries and turn over the budget to the strategic needs of nation still wallowing in severe backwardness. Our Good Lord knows why mentally blind people emerge as leaders in most of the black nations with Nigeria as a case in point!

I pray NIGERIA doesn't qualify for the worldcup. we cannot continue hoping on people to fail just because of our lack of commitment. it's better we go out this way than get beaten up real bad at the worldcup.

When is the coach going to resign or get sacked. He is not up to the task. Some of our player don't want to step up to the plate. This players should be drop. We need a mixture of both home based and foeign based players. This will keep the players on their feet.

What do Nigerians expected, where Tunisia was playing frendlies OUR COACH, TECH CHIEF Ogunjobi were touring Europe and visiting STRIP CLUBS termed Monitoring players who were siting in bench. Nigeria has just 2 players OBI AND OSAZE. cAN SOMEBODY TELL ME WHAT THE BOARD AND ONIGBUNDE STILL DOING IN SPORTS WHERE WE HAVE ADOKIYE, OKPARA AND ODEGBAMI

The boys are not just commited al all despite d supports they got from Nigerians and d Presidency.The Coach shld please bench Taye Taiwo and try Ederlson Echejile at LEFT FULL BACK,bench Olofinjana and bring back Okocha to the ATTACKING MIDFIELD POSITION,Chidi Odiah and Daniel Shittu shld be given chances to fight for RIGHT FULL BACK/CENTRE DEFENCE again in our next match(es),if we want to achieve something better.I hope its not too late.


Common guys, smell the coffee. When exactly has watching Nigerian sports ever made you feel good about yourself? I personally have other things I have chosen to concentrate my mind and wellbeing on. I stopped watching Nigerian sport many years ago, and being a football fan who is prone to emotional outburst during football, I'd rather not watch Green Eagles. I'd sooner watch Brazil, Argentina, England and infact anybody else, where I feel no real loyalty and can just enjoy the dam thing, after all, is that not what life is suppose to be about? Make una no kill una sef oh.

Modibbo, nice pc. this team is jinxed period... bad coach lazy players!!! Up naija. if we dnt go 2 SA, d competetion will lack spice, cos d prostitute wil loose out, no wild parties by an ill discipline bunch of players ( Mikel or mukaila n Yobo or wateva d red lipped baboo is called) and no Dollar-po $$$$$ to share. abeg maq we saty home jare... i pray Tunisia doesnt fuckup. As for me o, i cant n wil no encourage any person 2 waste there money 2 d stadium 2 watch d SUPER GUINEA FOWLS.... UP NEPA~8)

May God help us.

Nigeria should not spoil the chance of others. Tunisia is a better representative for africa than nigeria. Their country is much more sstable to remain one and the government owe some duty to the people unlike nigeria. We should first of all reorganise and even agrre to be a country before throwing ourself forward to represent Africa, perharps in 2014

do we currently have players with individual qualities of Samuel Eto'o, Michael Essien,Didier Drogba and even Adebayor in our squad? how many of our players are playing for the top 10 football clubs in the world? the answers reflect the strength of our Eagles

Are you suprised the lazy super chikens were paid even after the heart break ? if they were not paid , how did you expect the memebers of the presidential commitee and thier cohorts in the fa to share the loots when the gladiators are left on paid ?

The entire scenerio is just a joke, raising fund for a team whose coach earlier confirmed that is litterd with afriage players.

I sincerely hope we dont qualify so that Nigerians mind will be on the real issues on ground as it bothers on education, health and other social amenities.

If this iresponsive government could raise =N=800m for footbal issues, why cant they raise more in other to put our universities in good shape as requested by ASUU?

I am only sorry for nigerian jurnalists who wount be travelling to J`borg because of this disapointment but of what importance would it have been to watch and cover such a disapointting team like the one we saw on sunday.

The Athlethes flopped in Berlin, the Eagles flopped in Abuja, INEC flopped in the 2007 elections, Yar' Adua flopped in delivering electricity, Education Minister flopped in negotiations with ASUU, The CBN is busy dis-organizing the entire economy. I don't see the difference in all these. Excellence have since taken flight in this country. Toatl clean-up is required one way or the other.


The continued use of "used" forces should stop. This is the same problem with the governance of this nation. Running around used forces that have finished all they have. Making it impossible for fresh ideas to be applied. Well I believe Tunisias will derail giving Nigeria a chance. This will comfirm to us that exeternal hand is needed to make us good.


The fear of Jonathan taking over the presidency in case Yaradua dies or quit is the only reason i keep praying for God to keep Yaradua alive and for his pests to keep in in office.

Stop crying for this God forsaking country called Nigeria. Everything is coming to an end,soon the name will seize to exist. So tell me why should the players be killing themselves for a soon to be buried nation called Nigeria? Please let's talk of a better thing,how to make Biafra Republic,Oduduwa Republic,and Ariwa Republic a future good and mutual neighbours than this stupid British nation called Nigeria. Nigeria died last Sunday in Abuja in the hands of the Tunisians the KILLERS. It's true,it was confirmed on all the International Daily Newspapers,Tv,Internet and Radio News, except on NTA News. Sorry Nigeria,but (R.I.P)

Saharareporters,can't stop loving you guys or girls, as you predicted and reported accurately, the AGF of scandals, Michael Aondoakaa has intervened in support of Bola Tinubu, James Ibori and Victor Attah, so you were right after all. You guys are just too good. I can give up up my wrapper to clothe you guys if you feel the chill. Thanks for standing up for the voiceless!

@ T, i can guarantee you that our govt officials will make up the squad for Nigeria in the VIP section of the stadia. That I can assure you! These guys do not care, afterall who will stop them, you? Me? We? And they know we cannot do anything to them. Before this article was published I said the very same thing, i.e. if any foreigner should ask, what is your country Nigeria like? Just play them the match from sunday.

Have the presidential committee gone on a retreat to discuss the game yet, BLOODY THIEVES!!!!!!!! What will happen to the money raised at the scam filled fundraising event (N930Million) now that we are not going anywhere? I guess we all know. na wa, a country where nothing works at all. God help us!!!!!!!!

The players are guilty of be un-intersting in the game. They think the Tunisans will wait for them to win because they are playing the match in Nigeria. The coach on his part is guilty of at least stupidity. Why did he not have some home base players on the field. The home base are more hungry for success than many of the European based Big-heads. Odimigwe was the player who played with a heart to win. The rest of the players were only good with the ball without the ball they are just like passengers. They lack commitment. For many of our current sport men and women, the nations pride is second to his/her own individual pride. Our Nigerians sport men and women are like spectators when they line up against their opponents. Psychological defeated before the game begins.

Don't worry guys Nigeria will qualify.

at least there will be one closed opportunity for looting,no trip to jo'bourg .in it

After all the fuckup and disgrace some people will still annoy GOD by saying:God bless nigeria,complete BULLSHIT OF A COUNTRY

What do we expect,look at the people in charge of sports policy in nigeria.LULU and NDANUSA, does these two morons truely qualified to our sports affairs.But just like the writer said,'JUST LIKE NIGERIA' a country where we allowed normadic fools to dictate the policy making.Rest in peace Nigeria.

Nigeria is one country where mediocrity is celebrated. No thinkers, no creativity thrive in that atmosphere. Why Pay SE players $10,000 for failure, when the deal was that they get $10,000 if they beat Tunisia? Can you now see why everything, including sports is in the doldrums in Nigeria at the moment. They think money can buy them victory and so they keep stealing and stealing, and no one to catch them! Worst still they use the stolen money to buy the votes of the same people they stole it from.

Yar'Adua wake up as the country is in a Cliff hanger. Do not say I never warned you!

Nigeria and sports? You can't be serious - the two simply don't jell. Nigeria is simply not SERIOUS about sports. The management think of their own loot, the participants think they are demi-gods, lacking discipline and focus. I however think that Tunisia will self-destruct along the line giving Nigeria some hope in South Africa. AM I SERIOUS ABOUT THAT??? Well - I love Nigeria, that is why.

It is indeed tragic.On TV yesterday was the rerun of reception in Abuja last week for the eagles hosted by the presidential commitee on the qualification of the Green Eagles. Can you beat that!!!!!!!!!! The vice president was in attendance,members of the diplomatic corps,ministers and everybody who is anybody in Abuja.John Fashanu spoke about the plan to raise 2 Billion naira tiowards this end.

The players who were meant to be practising were in attendance as well and if this was not political pressure tell me what it is.
We are a very unserious nation and the failure of the grren eagles morrors the way we live,the way we are governed. Maybe the bright side is that we have been spared the embarrassment of moving the Nigerian govt to Jo Burg next year over the period of the games.

Its a vicious cycle,the cries fr a foreign coach will commence and when that fails we look for a local one. Gid bless the federal republic

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