AFCON 2024: Nigeria On The March Again, Launches Let’s Do It Campaign To Ginger Eagles

By Victor Enyinnaya on November 20, 2023

After well deserved annual vacation, I just resumed.  And I must not fail to acknowledge inquires from you dear numerous readers of this soar away column.  Most of you requested I do this column even while I was on vacation which I politely explained to all of you and I wholeheartedly thank you for depth understanding and sticking strictly with Daily Sports (www.dailysportsng.com). Thanks for being there. Our editorial team would strive to serve you even better. Trust us as we have been.

As the steady downward movement or trend of the Super Eagles team continues unabated and teeming Nigerian fans worries have reached high heavens, as nobody can stick out his neck to any game involving the flagship team of the country.

The worry cut across.  Note that the Super Eagles have infectious followership because of its past high performance. Sadly, any team from Africa or elsewhere can readily come even to the team’s once upon a time slaughter ground to either snatch a score draw where the Eagles would force or the visiting side would even run away with victory. Such has become the lot of the present Eagles and many have blamed it mainly on the quality of the head coach who they have in unionism said has no solid football pedigree to handle a team of Super Eagles class.

To be honest with you dear readers, it has been mixed grill which has placed the numerous supporters of the team on their edges.  Eagles have lost many fans due to lack of power to turn things around during their matches which many have equally described as uninspiring. Such worrisome scenario has spread like wide fire and so placed Super Eagles team on the vintage of imminent loss of home support.

It is therefore against the above inflammable background and more that some group of Nigerians put together a re-launch support bid for the team so that every Nigerian football fan would once again eat, dream, live, drink and love back the once upon a time high performing national team, be it on home or away soil. This group believes that with spirited campaign cult support, Super Eagles would recover.

The event took place last week Friday, November 17, evening in the serene Mike Adenuga Centre (ALLIANCE FRANCAISE) in Ikoyi, Lagos where partners of Nigerian football pull together to unveil a crusade to stimulate back unparallel support for the Super Eagles ahead of their participation at the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) football summit to be hosted by Cote D’ Ivoire.  In short, it was classique to behold as the packaging, presentation and execution was clinical.

The group cleverly branded it 'Let's Do It Again', powered by SportsDotcom, the event, which has the nod of Federal Government through the Ministry of Sports Development and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), was specially planned to consent to the Super Eagles bold statement that, in spite of the fact that they will be the ones setting the tone on the field of play, the whole country of over 200m people is unambiguously following them.

This columnist being amongst the select guests who graced the August event pointedly noted very thrilled Minister of Sports, Senator John Enoh who vividly referenced the campaign as being lost line between Nigerian football fans and the Super Eagles whenever they are on international duties.

According to him, "the government of Bola Ahmed Tinubu strongly believes the power of football and other sports in enhancing national unity, hence the resolve that this is never being toyed with.

"Let's Do It Again” campaign is about stirring the shore up support of Nigerians for the effective outing of Super Eagles at the forthcoming AFCON in Cote D'Ivoire in January 2024.

"It would be recalled that Nigeria covers an amazing football history and we must all ride on this to propel the Super Eagles to wonderful outing at the AFCON.  I need to urge corporate bodies to connect with the campaign and grant vital assets for its success.

"This is another opportunity for us to re-enact the accomplishments of 1980, 1994 and 2013, the last time Nigeria lifted the AFCON in away soil, South Africa. Therefore we must come together to utilize this campaign to stir the awareness of Nigeria project within the minds of all Nigerians, and we must also utilize the campaign to envelope the entire Nigeria," Enoh reechoes. In his remark, former President of the NFF and FIFA Committee Member, Amaju Pinnick said that Nigerians must indiscriminately bolster the Super Eagles to have a fruitful outing in Cote D'Ivoire, including that "we ought to build that mental capacity into the boys to exceed expectations at the 2024 AFCON independent of the level of the restrictions of any kind.

In Pinnick’s thinking, Nigerians ought not to quickly judge the Eagles with their below standard performance against minnows, Lesotho in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State last week Thursday.

"Though, the match against Lesotho was awful, we should not be all time down. We must qualify by all means and play at the World Cup in the US. It'll be unimaginable for us not to be in that World Cup again come 2026 after missing out in the last edition in Qatar," Pinnick who presided that dark era that has continued in the Super Eagles said.

"For the AFCON 2024, I accept typically looks good to be our year to win it for the fourth time with this ‘Let's Win It Once more’ campaign, it appears that we are being delicate to what we are doing and with dedication, due diligence, focus by the technical crew and the players and if we are able to do our home work well, God’ll crown it to be our year," Pinnick who chose his words, submitted.

President of the NFF, Ibrahim Gusau was full of assurance that Nigeria will bounce back after that poor showing against Lesotho, adding that the players and the football governing body knew what is at stake.

"I have no doubt in my mind that we are going for the Nations Cup once again after what we did 10 years ago. The Eagles need all encouragement we can patriotically give to them. At the NFF level, we are doing all possible things to ensure that Nigeria do it again.  The draw game against Lesotho was just a wakeup call, we will qualify for the World Cup,” Gusau restated.

Former Super Eagles captain and Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Sports, Daniel Amokachi assures Nigerians that the Eagles will do the nation proud at the AFCON.

"I am a huge fan of this generation of the Super Eagles players. They need our support and please let's give it to them. Our commitment of support is what they need," he said.

Joseph Yobo, former captain of the Eagles, under whose captainship the nation won the AFCON in 2013 when late Stephen Keshi was the chief coach, gave the full assurance that "we are due to win the cup again.  It has been long, 10 years is not a joke."

Yobo noted it was a big privilege to represent his country through his glorious career in the senior national team. He emphatically said, the Super Eagles have what it takes to win the Nations Cup again.

"Teamwork and intelligent give any team victory in any championship and if we can do it in 2013, these Eagles can do it in 2024," Yobo said.

Incumbent skipper of the Super Eagles, Ahmed Musa, appealed to the Nigerian media to take it easy with the young boys in the team.  According to him, unlike the older players, the young boys in the Super Eagles can't take the pressure coming from the outside when things go wrong.

"I will appeal to Nigerians to keep believing in the team even anytime our performance doesn't live up to expectation. We will not relent. We are going to the Nations Cup to do it again and for the World Cup qualifiers, I want to assure the country that we shall qualify,"  Musa said.

Many dignitaries at the unveiling ceremony included former coach of the Eagles, Samson Siasia, 'Headmaster' Mutiu Adepoju, Sunday Mbah, journalists, celebrities, influencers, sponsors of the NFF and others. Going by this, Nigeria is on the march again.  The drums and trumpets would fill the all available space sooner than later.  This kind of scenario is not new to ardent Nigerian football fans when all manners of campaigns come on stream.

Smart professionals are capitalizing on this unpleasant performance of the Super Eagles of late, because of the employment of sub-standard foreign coaches that never bring anything valuable on the table of the team. These coaches brought in to handle a team that is far higher than their capacity have seen Super Eagles going down the ladder on and on. It robbed off miserably on the rating of the once upon a time high flying side in the continent where many countries dare not pray to meet in any football encounter.

We keep our fingers crossed, watching keenly how this wrong footing would be corrected quickly, before it snowballs into dangerous dimension as previous ones of late.

Keep shooting hard till next week, meanwhile, we wait!!    

 

 

 

 

 

Source Daily Sports Nigeria

Posted November 20, 2023


 

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