Can we introduce our jokers? Phillip Shaibu, Sunday Dare and Amaju Pinnick.— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) November 13, 2020
What are they doing on the bench?
Can't the coach send them in???
The build-up to Friday’s game by the Super Eagles was characterised by outrage on social media when politicians joined in the team’s training sessions. Edo state Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, Nigeria’s Minister for Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare and Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick took turns to do rondos with the team during their ‘serious’ sessions.
With the way and manner the qualifying game was trivialised by the team and the Federation, it was expected that at least Shaibu who was a registered professional footballer until last year would have been on Rohr’s substitute list which could have turned out to be a magic wand for the Eagles.
With the game slipping out of control, the trio were the expected “jokers” that came to mind and could have really given the Super Eagles much needed ginger to stave off the shinning Stars from Freetown. That didn’t happen and a lesson of professionalism should have been served to the Federation and coaching crew.
No laws may have been broken and maybe no ethical flout in those exercises but such further portrayed how the Super Eagles is turning to a tool of propaganda and unseriousness in Africa.
Quick one:— ChrisBest Oguguo (@chrisboguguo) November 13, 2020
Is it that the NFF cannot afford to organize home games for the Super Eagles? I don't understand the constant usage of stadiums with terrible pitches when there's a far better one elsewhere. First it was Asaba and now Benin. What happened to Uyo? #NGASLE
Still in comparing with Asaba, the lighting for a game played at 5pm local time was also inadequate. The floodlight stands at the Swimming Pool end of the stadium were too far to the stadium and so could not provide the needed lighting for one part of the pitch. At a time, Zaidu Sanusi had to bring back his experience of playing in the dark in the street of Birni-Kebbi, to be able to adapt to the double jeopardy of the pitch and darkness.
As of now, only the lightings of the Nest of Champions, Uyo has been found blameless (though can still be upgraded) among all the sporting facilities in Nigeria, and with a very good type of grass as well. This is not in any case making a case for Uyo (which will not be out of place anyway), but the main point is; if the Uyo Stadium constructed six, seven years ago got these little things right, why have the newer facilities in Asaba and now Benin City failed in giving the Super Eagles a proper home advantage?
Conclusion: The good thing remains that Nigeria are still top of Group L and will move to within touching distance of qualification for the January 2022 AFCON tournament in Cameroon.