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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Super Eagles ouster: True gainers and losers

By Bayo Fasunwon


Football, of all the competitive games in the world, is more often than not, war through peaceful means.  When twenty-two able-bodied men meet on the green pitch, wit, strength, skills and strategies are employed to ensure that winners and losers emerge. The two-legged Qatar World Cup qualifying tussle has in no doubt left bitterness in the mouths of the losers.

The Super Eagles (or should we revert back to their initial name of Green Eagles) failed on technical grounds to earn extra time to prove their worthiness for the QatarWorld Cup, despite the sacrificing huge supports given by the government and the people of Nigeria. They failed on technical grounds – they did not score a goal in Ghana, and conceded a goal in Nigeria – that is failed, home and abroad.

Contrary to people’s opinion, yours truly would not want to agree that Nigerians are losers in the match.  This piece would seek to identify the cost-benefit analysis of the “war on the green turf”.The cost of watching Nigeria play international games is often expensive. In most cases, television owners would have to buy fuel for their generators (presently at a higher cost); inhale carbon monoxide; and risk the possibility of a cardiac arrest. For those who go to stadium, the transport and entrance fees; risk of contracting COVID 19; possible stampede and security risks in the present-day Nigeria are deadly costs.  After these huge costs, not having the desirable results could be devastatingly depressive.

Nigeria, and mostly the NFF officials are the first line losers in Nigeria’s failed bid. Had the Green Eagles qualified for the tournament, Nigeria would have earned around N5.6billion from FIFA. Such a huge fund coming to the nation at this point would have been a panacea to many financial burdens in the nation, the Sports Ministry and of course the Nigeria Football Federation. Needless to say, either by crook or legal means, the NFF board members would have been smiling to the bank.

Their wives, husbands or concubines; government officials and some Senators would have enjoyed government sponsored trip and care for the Qatar journey, and more funds would have been squandered without recourse to the plight of the suffering masses in Nigeria.  Thus, while many public office holders have lost an opportunity for ‘authoritative misapplication of funds’, Nigeria(ns) have gained in that monies would be conserved and available for other important ventures in the country.

In recent times, keen observation would reveal that Nigerian footballers have imbibed the general ideas of the masses. Only few people in the country are ready to selflessly ‘serve with heart and might’, rather they serve the nation in order to get opportunities for external and more high paying dividends. For the Nigerian players, the loss to Ghana was an opportunity greatly missed.

They missed the opportunity of being observed for high paying contracts in their football careers. Endorsements from many enterprises have been lost, and also bonuses for qualifications have also been forfeited.  Above all is the reduction in their fans’ appreciation and adoration.

Many Nigerians who placed bets on different Bet Apps, pitching their tents with Nigeria would be licking their wounds and lamentations now, Baba Ijebu on the other hand would be smiling to the bank. However, during the World Cup tournament, many Nigerians would suffer less heart attack, avoid needless arguments and bets; conserve monies that would have been wasted on fuel and drinks; and many wives would have rest of mind as they would have more time to watch ‘Telemundo’ and ‘Zee World’. MultiChoice’s hopes of draining Nigerians would be dashed and children would be less concerned about matches in which Nigeria has no stake.

The Green Eagles have by their non businesslike performance increased the heat on government. Football has been an aphrodisiac used by government to ease the tensions of the youths, and execute clandestine looting of treasury. The Babangida and Abacha governments benefitted immensely from the calming balm of football victories and tournaments.

The Eguavoen led Eagles would have by their victories given the Buhari led administration intoxicating tonics that would ensure that Nigerians forget our internal problems, but thanks to them, we are made more aware of it.  The condemnable acts of Nigerians after the match was a signal that Nigerians have bottled up frustration and anger over the socio-economic situation of this country. The anger displayed is a signal to the government that a little tightening of the noose around the necks of Nigerians may result into spontaneous inferno all over the country.

Also, the handlers of the Eagles are being told that the end has come to lackadaisical and lackluster performance of the national team, and that to whom more is given, much is expected from. With the force of unity – football – gone, Nigerians would be more aware, (quite unfortunate) of the things that divide us, especially as the polity gets heated up by careless political utterances, actions and inactions.

Now that the aphrodisiac is lost, Nigeria(ns) can now concentrate more on the terrorist activities in Kaduna and other parts of this country. It is quite unfortunate that murderers who are being treated with kid’s gloves by the Nigeria governments have brazenly over the years traumatized her citizens and sent many to untimely graves.

The Nigeria government were proud to call terrorists ‘bandits’ in order to subject Nigerians to ransom payment and create a hood of protection for these demons in human clothing. The Attorney General of the Federation who was quick to advice the President to withhold assent to the Electoral Act, and implement an inglorious court judgment, has been dragging his feet on the judgment that bandits should be called and treated as Terrorists, and more families are being traumatized and bereaved daily.

Sheikh Gumi, and Mallam El Rufai have publicly declared that government is aware of the hideouts of these terrorists, but the same government had loved ‘Barabbas’ more than ‘Jesus Christ’ and had therefore left the former to roam wild and wide, killing innocent Nigerians, whose lives are not worth than a piece of bread in the sight of rancorous leaders. Now that the Eagles are fallen, the people can arise and insist on the security of their lives and property or that government gives way for those who can guarantee it.

Now that the Green Eagles have lowered  National Flag and allowed the Black Stars to shine in its stead, the youth who would have been hypnotized by the Qatar celebration, while licking their wounds, would suddenly realize that all Universities, and their future have been kept under lock and key by a government who cared less about their education and  ascension to greater heights.

Now the youth can come to their senses and make up their minds about the upcoming political events, and determine their fate in their fatherland. Thank you, Green Eagles, for giving us gains from our pains; thank you for waking us from the hypnosis and thank you for letting us know that bad decisions would always yield bad results.

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