Flying Eagles Abysmal Performance

 Flying Eagles Abysmal Performance-

THE abysmal performance of Nigeria cadet team, the Flying Eagles at the just concluded 2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations held in Niger Republic has again called for urgent need to look at the  administration of football in the  country.

THE team which came forth in the football competition put every foot wrongly and lost in the semi-final and third place match to Senegal and South Africa respectively.

EVEN in the preliminary rounds, the performance of the team was not sure footed enough for a country that has great pedigree in youth football.

FLYING Eagles throughout the tournament performed below expectation. Though the team have qualified for the World Cup to be hosted by Poland, the team to say the least were disjointed, uncoordinated and lacking the winning mentality expected of a  World Cup bound team.

IT is our opinion that a team that had appeared at the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations 17 times and  winners in 1978/1979, and best team  in  1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 2005,  2011 and 2015 should have been the cynosure of all eyes, and won  all its matches. It is unfortunate to note that the team could not only shine , it took every foot wrong.

THE team, nicknamed as the Flying Eagles failed to fly, and its performance has shown that the team lacked technical competence, coherence and resilience which the Flying Eagles had always exhibited.

NIGERIA  has a rich history in youth football, and recorded  the fastest goal, 14 seconds,  at the World Cup Moscow ’85 by Monday Odiaka has not been beaten till date.

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UNFORTUNATELY, the fortune of the nation’s feeder team has continued to nosedived over the  time. Reasons are due to the poor management of the league. There is also high level of corruption  at the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF. Favoritism, imposition of players and undue interference from those in government are other factors.

WE therefore call for total overhauling of the whole team for optimal performance at the 2019 FIFA U-20,World Cup in Poland later in the year.

THE Flying Eagles of Nigeria are drawn alongside the United States of America,USA, Qatar, and Ukraine in group D.  Therefore, they need to be fortified with the best legs in the country and around the world.

NO doubt, Nigeria is blessed with highly mobile and great players scattered across the globe. All we need to do is to scout for them both within and  outside the country. It is the dream of every player to don the jersey of his country. Therefore, they would be willing to come provided  the selection of players would be ethical and transparent.

AS a country with great footballing pedigree, history and tradition, the supervising ministry and Nigeria Football Federation should organise series of international football tournaments for the team. This will not  only boost the morale of the players, it will also prepare them for the competition and detect lapses among the players.

IT is high time the Federal Ministry of Sports Development tackled   corruption in the NFF which has retarded the growth of football in the country. NFF stinks, every money meant for football development should be monitored. The manner and way members of the Glass House struggle for extacodes during football competitions should also be discontinued.

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THE process whereby NFF shares unspent money at the end of a tournament should be discouraged by the government .

THE HOPE calls on NFF to allow the technical crew of the team to go for refresher courses to keep them abreast of new techniques in football. This, we know will increase the performance of the  team at the forthcoming U-20 World Cup.

AGAIN, we say that the recruitment of players to the Flying Eagles should be based on merit and should not be politicized. If  players who can perform to the expectation of the country are found in a geographic location, it should be allowed. Players’ selection should not be based on political sentiment.

THE  2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, being the 22nd edition of the competition should therefore be a platform for Flying Eagles to put smile on the faces of Nigerians.

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