Welcome Back, Falcons; Soldier On, Super Eagles!

By Daily Sports on June 24, 2019

Views: 3,700

For the records, let me quickly acknowledge a truth, that I have been and would continue to be a venomous critic of bad sports administration at any level. It has won me the prize of being the most discussed columnist amongst past Ministers of Sports and the present executive committee board of the NFF has used so many epithets to describe me while discussing with their friends and these people are my mutual friends too.

That notwithstanding, I have tried to be myself, by first being objective in my writing so that my conscience would continue to be clear, which is one of the tenets of this profession. Let me also confess that I have been a victim of their collective conspiracy via isolation from their press invites which of course I am not sitting down waiting to come. Being a victim of their unkind temper has made me even stronger. In retaliation dear readers, I have in turn unleashed the equally unkind temper of my pen on them, hence they have been complaining and reporting me to our mutual friends to reach out to me to cease fire.

But of a truth, I have not unduly used my pen to denigrate or to pull down. All my comments have been factual and guarded by global best practices of journalism practice. What those who are vilifying me for always writing against the then Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, Amaju Pinnick led NFF administration and the lame ducks, called National Sports Federation Presidents should have done was to rise from their laziness, short-sightedness and bootlicking to conduct thorough x-ray of my writings.

In my close to over two decades plus on the sports beat, which has taken me to cover major world and continental sporting events and public sphere intervention, I believe that administrators at all levels should conduct respect, an epitome of the highest moral echelon of the society. Those who run that office should do so transparently, not cosmetic appearances. Also, they should make convent of charity and fidelity with themselves; not the current system that glamorises sacred cows and opportunists which of course has become the norm of the larger government and governance since this regime mounted the saddle at the federal and sundry.

It then brings me to continue to wonder why the anger of my friends from the Northern part of the country are still boiling to high heavens over my position last week on this page on the rudely and abnormal behaviour displayed by Kano Pillars captain Rabiu Alli and the supporters of the team at the recently concluded 2019 NPFL Super Six play-offs held in Lagos. The rabid responses even when the footages are awash in the social media is baffling. Good enough, this columnist is not one that bows to any threat no matter the quarters it is coming from. Therefore the thunders from Kano Pillars fans and sundry are what one has come to terms with over these years and would not be bothered a hoot.

And now, Super Falcons to this writer deserves our pat on the back, if nothing for their dogged fight against host country France; ensuring the goal margin of the past editions did not repeat itself.

Again, the team broke the jinx of not qualifying for the knock out stages for the first since 1999 in the World Women football summit. It was a no mean achievement in the championship that has so grown steadily, gamely.

We will get there. The girls were not disgraced even against the Germans. The Falcons players are truly maturing and we must come back and continue our search for proper antidote for our women national teams. We will succeed if we do it sincerely.

Super Eagles opened the 2019 AFCON with a lone goal winner against debutants Burundi in a match the opponents stretched the former champions to almost her limit, before Odion Igalo came in the second stanza for the rescue.

The game which put the teeming fans of the Super Eagles on edge due to the resistance of the Burudians, got the desired relief via what later appeared to be the winning goal of the opening group encounter.

Analysts and pundits had earlier warned on the need for Nigerians to brace up decisively in the group that has minnows that have proved to be more slippery than established teams. Truth is that the then yawning gap between power house football countries are drastically closing steadily and only nations that are proactive in nature would avert impending upsets. It is broad day light warning signal. Zimbabwe and Burundi have sent an alarm bell and warning to Eygpt and Nigeria respectively.

Gernot Rohr and his boys must sit up and up their game as they take on Guinea on June 26. Nigeria should also know that the Guineans are no pushovers in African football generally and so must be extra vigilant as they take on their opponents in the remaining group games.

However, the most important thing is for us to get the three points at stake. The performance of teams considered low already shows that the country is roundly in full contention. We stand by the Eagles as it continues the onward journey to making inroads into the most prestigious African biannual football champ. As the fire is already on the mountain, let us resort to our social media handles and follow the games. And so keep shooting hard till next week!!

Source Daily Sports

Posted June 24, 2019


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