Before the Battle of Kaduna, Matters Arising!

By Daily Sports on March 21, 2016

Views: 2,661

Sincerely speaking, since two weeks ago we focused on football where we wrong, sms messages from far and near are still coming, some giving us kudos job well done, as usual others condemning to the high heavens what we pointed out in the said article. Let me report that instead of my anger to boil over to high heavens, such made me strong and resolute that we are not only being fully noticed but also doing a grand job, however the road is still far, but as the tough, we will keep going. I digress.

To be honest with you, such has been my lot since Sports Pulse debuted last year October as a column soar away online portal, Daily Sports. As you will readily attest to, the heat coming into it each week to say the very least, has firmly put me on my toes to ensure l get deeper and better, Assurance? The best is yet to come!   

Let me confess that I am not discouraged a hoot, by some reactions that oftentimes went personal. I knew my direction and the canon of Journalism which centres on Truth being sacrosanct; I won’t serve you less too.

Dear readers, we all knew the kind of difficult game we have in our hands so far the qualification for the 2017 AFCON football summit to be held in Gabon is concerned. It is like being at the middle of the deep blue sea.  It also not a hidden fact that we started on a very wrong footing, by engaging Sunday Oliseh who has no capacity to handle a high flying team in the continent like the Super Eagles. It would be recalled that Stephen Keshi led us to an emphatic 2-0 defeat of Chad before NFF President and few of his cohorts packaged and brought in Oliseh that left us in the current mess.

Truth is that the Super Eagles players and their interim technical crew have an uphill task in their hands against Egypt on our quest to be in the finals of the next edition of Africa’s premier biannual football tournament. The Pharaohs of Egypt no doubt remain our nemesis in the rat-race contest; the North African football power is leading the group with six points while we trail with four points.

I don’t envy Samson Siasia at all in his rescue mission assignment because it is like a suicide one. I am sure he has not been sleeping well since he was drafted from his U- 23 Eagles duty post to oversee this Amaju Pinnick instigated house of commotion called the Super Eagles. Let me point out here that whatever that is presently on our hand is self-inflicted. It is why I have long developed shock absorber ready for the worst in the two legged games.

Nigerians must put in front of their mind not back that Siasia, his crew and the players are not the creators of this miscalculation, they are there as patriots poised  to see how far they will clear the muddle caused by short sighted NFF leadership.

As veteran commentator and former technical committee member of the NFF, Barrister Godwin Dudu Orumen rightly posits in a no- hold- barred rare explosive interview with Daily Sports recently, that he will not like to think for NFF, according to him, those that created this avoidable fouled stink  should find lasting solution to it. Stay with us to read the unputdownable chat with one of the master of the game. However, his above view is also mine. Period!

Yes, one of the good scenarios going for the Siasia led team is the absolute resolve of the players and the crew to turn back the Pharaohs heavily in the battle of Kaduna. The boys have been talking tough one believes it won’t be empty that they will spice such with concrete action. The day’s opponents won’t as usual be an easy prey but Nigeria has always got her deserved pound of flesh from the Pharaohs whenever the chips are down. This won’t be an exception.

If you seek for my opinion, the optimum is high amongst the lads and their crew. The camp has since opened and the players are sweating it. Siasia will aim to the sky, singing to any one that cares to listen that only the fit fighting will adore the first line up. The foreign legion and their home colleagues are working harder. They seem to be saying, on our part, its total victory or nothing.

John Mikel Obi, Godfrey Obaobona and Ogenyi Onazi spoke to me on their preparations for this make or mar encounter. I believed them, they are the set of 2013 Nations Cup victors. They have the experience and tricks to turn bad situations around. It won’t be that bad in Kaduna football war. The Eagles have chorused they would set the tone at the first leg and then leverage on it for the yet another crucial second leg cracker in Alexandria, Egypt March 28 or 29. The above lads are play makers on a good day. I saw the resilient Nigerian spirit in their voices. Pray that god of football smile on very move they will make come Friday, March 25….Amen!

From the way Amaju Pinnick, the supremo of NFF spoke the other day, it looks as if they are ready. All hands are ready on deck. This is when you will see them (NFF) co-operating with all sundry to achieve a last minute collective goal. This is how the administrators work in this part of the world. NFF is putting all within its arsenal to ensure it will squeeze water out of stone. If you like, fire brigade kind of. Sometimes it works; it has back fired several times. It is two sides of a coin.

Sadly, this is when the technical crew, players and executive committee members speak with one unequivocal voice; their thoughts are also tailored towards one direction. Nigeria first. Ssssh, the game that unites us is about starting. That is the sing song now. Shamefully, the way the administrators are. It is operation crush the daring and over ambitious Pharaohs of Egypt who want to use the 2017 AFCON to launch themselves back into international football reckoning after a long layoff.  

Methinks that Siasia and players’ would not give the North Africans any breathing space. They can be frustrating and conning in their overall approach to the game. Vigilance must be the home team’s watch word throughout the highly anticipated explosive clash of the titians.  It will be total war from start to finish.

As NFF has woken up from its deep slumber to support this last minute rush, one hopes all will be well with the team. I am speaking from the point of view of being an ardent Reporter and supporter of this beautiful game and obviously not because this regime has done what is extra-ordinary to the sport in the land.

One believes that El-Rufai would take enough time out from the demolition of perceived political opponents and sundry buildings and spend quality time ensuring that one stop security would be mounted for the all-important international match which he earnestly begged to host.

Kaduna fans should also be well educated on the benefits of being orderly as anything short of that would be too costly for Nigeria’s chances to move on in the qualifier. They are essential matters arising that must be nipped on the bud foremost.

Even book makers and other followers of the round leather game believe that once EL-Rufai provides sweet atmosphere devoid of tension and other threats in and around the sports city environment  without compromise in its entirety , the Eagles would thrash the never say die Pharaohs no matter their usual pranks. This critical first leg mission must be convincingly accomplished to the logical end. El- Rufai holds the first key to Nigeria’s victory against Egypt. The players are all professionals and knew that they must play with minimum pressure. Siasia as ex-international turned gaffer is also aware the killer antidote match plan he will adopt against this old age rivals.

The coast is clearer now, with determination, focus, zeal and ability the Eagles would fly enduringly against their arch contenders, the Pharaohs.  Fly Eagles, Fly over the boys from the desert of North Africa. Meanwhile, we wait!!

•Enyinnaya can be reached via 08055068145 (sms only) or by e-mail via

Source Daily Sports

Posted March 21, 2016

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