The time bomb that was about to detonate was shaken once again by the Golden Eaglets’ repeated inability to get U-17 World Cup tickets.
The Flying Eagles of Nigeria only averted an embarrassing outcome that the Nigeria Football Federation planned up, but it eventually sank to the surface of the ocean where everyone could see how poorly Nigerian football is doing.
Failure to plan is planning to fail, according to an adage. The Senegalese and even the Moroccans have reached their current high level thanks to careful preparedness for future occurrences.
Remind me of the times when Nigeria was still the Giants of Africa, crushing the Europeans as the staff of power marched out of the Nigerian talent pool where legends such as Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Sunday Oliseh, Daniel Amokachi, and others swam. At this time, the passion to make the country proud provoked maintenance, and preparedness.
Why has this well-known nation, which is located in the heart of Africa, ceased breathing? This is the question I was asked in a chat with a Zimbabwean journalist. The Nigerian football governing body, however, is ultimately responsible since it neglected to direct green resources to the appropriate areas.
Senegal, for instance, has a number of learning institutions with excellent facilities where they instruct boys in relevant topics, train them, and demonstrate effective methods—apparently for a price.
They have sown for many years, and now they are reaping the benefits by winning the Africa Cup of Nations in every age group. Meanwhile, at the current U-17 AFCON tournament, Senegal is one of the favourites for the title.
But walk down to Nigeria, where everyone feeds from the milky table, seeks to seem intelligent, and hope to reap what was not sown.
Simply stated, the nation would only reap the benefits of their labours if the proper training facilities were established, a decent plan was created and carried out by the governing body, the young men were well-trained, and the right and best legs were summoned into the national teams of all age groups.
However, corruption, which has eaten deeply into the Nigerian footballing system for decades, is still awaiting a decent soap to clean up the soiled footprints left on the walls of the glasshouse that houses Nigerian football.
The country’s football governing body would want to continue partaking in the excellent practises of embezzling money, kicking “yum yum” players around, age cheating, subpar coaching methods, neglecting to refund player tickets, and owing bonuses.
Now, how can the Nigerian national team return to winning ways if these evident issues are not resolved? If the players, and even the coach, are not satisfied, how will they be motivated to please the viewers at home?
To touch on the Nigerian football system, can only improve when things go well; otherwise, you can never enjoy the benefits of your labour.