Defiant Super Eagles coach Shuaibu Amodu insists that ‘genuine fans’ will continue to support the team despite their present situation, and said that those who do not come out are not wanted anyway.
An immediate rash of venom-pouring expectedly followed last month’s 2-2 draw against Tunisia, which seriously compromised Nigeria’s chances of appearing at the 2010 World Cup.
Since then, however, apathy has crept in, with many fans expressing indifference at the team, and a large number prepared to stage a sit at home protest. Amodu says the reaction is no surprise, and hit back at the fair-weather fans.
“I expected that. A good number of Nigerians pretend to know the game and support the game, but they don’t know it,” he fired back. As it is, those who will come to the stadium that day will be our genuine supporters, those who know and love football, and those are the people we want.”
As he warmed to his theme, Amodu went even further, accusing the populace of taking out their frustrations in the country’s other failing sectors on the national football team.
“Nobody should extend the disappointment in the fortunes of this country on us in football. Our teams have been playing games all over the world. That football has been played here and there means that we have been the ones carrying the banner of Nigeria all over the world.
“We don’t want to face it, but I am saying it today. The only thing that is representing Nigeria all over the world is football. The only thing we are selling to the world right now is football. And anybody who does not care about the fact that we are doing our utmost best to represent this country does not appreciate it.
“They should ask questions of other organs of this country what they are doing. Why is it only football? Nobody should take the problems of Nigeria and put it on football. In football, like other sports, you cannot get all your results overnight. Along the line you will have disappointing results, and you will also have good ones.
“That is the nature of sports. You will win some, you will lose some and you will draw some.
“This attitude of win at all cost is what we have carried into our political life. That is why when a politician loses an election, he claims it was rigged, and goes to the tribunal. But if he wins, the election was good. Then we keep on fighting ourselves everyday rather than move a step forward.”
Amodu rounded off his fiery tirade with an unflustered look at his immediate future as Eagles boss.
“I have played uncountable matches in my life; I cannot come here and be worried about the consequences of any match. We can only do the best we can and leave the rest to God.
“It is a responsibility for us all, and we are playing our own part. We will leave and other people will come in and play their own part. I think we have done so far so good.”
NDDC U-17 Peace Cup To Resume In Uyo
The long awaited finale of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) U-17 Peace Cup would expectedly resume next week as two qualified teams from the nine states converge in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.
Technical Director of the tournament Etim Esin in a statement on behalf of the Local Organising Committee Chairman John Ekpeyong and Secretary Ada Gwegwe yesterday said the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, will declare the tournament open.
It added that the Special Assistant to the President Muhammad Buhari, on Sports Development, Coach Daniel Amokachi, NFF Technical Director Coach Augustine Eguavoen along with football legend Taribo West and other notable Niger Delta-based and foreign scouts will be on ground.
The LOC appreciated the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Effiong Akwa, for his support towards the conclusion of the tournament, adding that it is better late than never, as the competition will still be among his numerous legacies.
According to the statement, the arrival date for participating teams is 11th of December, while screening of teams and official kick off, will take place the following day.
The statement further called on the Coordinators of the states not to forget the rules of engagement, especially on the age bracket of the players, as the screening will be strict, for the aim of the competition to be achieved.
FIBA World Cup: Kida Lauds D’Tigers’ Strong Qualifiers Start
Top basketball administrator and immediate past Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) president, Engr Musa Kida, has congratulated the D’Tigers for starting their 2022 FIBA World Cup on a strong note after picking two victories in three matches.
With five points from a possible six and a superior point difference, the team sits comfortably atop group A ahead of the next round of games coming up by the 27th of June, 2022.
Kida described the team’s performance as inspiring despite peculiar circumstances surrounding the federation’s election as well as FIBA’s stance over Nigeria’s participation at the qualifiers.
“It is really nice to start such important qualifiers on a winning note which is very good for our chances of qualifying for the World Cup. We had to put our administrative differences aside for the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians.”
“We feel elated and justified that our decision to give FIBA the go ahead to register the team which enabled them participate paid off in the long run as we join hands with all stakeholders to continue growing the game in Nigeria”.
16 teams are vying for the available five spots at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup with Nigeria grouped alongside Mali, Cape Verde and Uganda.
“The top three teams from each group will advance to the Second Round of the African Qualifiers and will join three other teams to create two six-team groups with results from the preliminary rounds carried over,” Musa added.
AWCON Qualifiers: Ebi Targets Revenge Against Ivory Coast
Super Falcons defender, Onome Ebi, says the team will go all out for revenge when they clash against Ivory Coast in their final 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers next year.
The qualifying game which will be played on a home and away basis is scheduled for February 13 and 17 with the winners qualifying for the AWCON in Morocco.
The Falcons who will be hoping to defend the title they won at the 2018 in Ghana are eyeing their 10th trophy Morocco but to qualify for the event, they’ll have to go past the Ivorians who knocked them out of contention for the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Ebi, who is Nigeria’s current longest-serving player says her aim is to avenge the loss that saw them miss out on the 2020 Olympics at the hands of the Ivorians.
“I can tell you that we still nurse the pain of missing out of the Tokyo Olympics as a result of the loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the qualifying series,” Ebi said.
“This time, we will repay them in their own coins. Personally, I want to play in the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup, and I know it is the same for my teammates.”
The Falcons are the most successful African women’s team in the world and have won the AWCON a record nine times and will be hoping to get their 10th next year after the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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