The Super Eagles finished the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt with yet another ‘Golden Bronze’ medal and it’s the eighth time the team has won it, but the performance of the team and Nigeria Football Federation’s decision to stick with head Coach Gernot Rohr has dominated the media space.
The Super Eagles won the title for the 3rd time back in 2013 in South Africa under the tutelage of late Stephen Keshi , however the team failed qualify for the next two editions of the tournament inEquatorial Guinea and Gabon in 2015 and 2017 respectively, which translates to regression.
Fast forward to 2019 , Nigeria sealed her return to the tournamentafter a 1-1 draw against South Africa in Johannesburg and rendered the last qualifier game against Sychelles useless.
Nigeria soccer fans were delighted to see the team return to the tournament, but the mistake was the believe that the team is good enough to win Nigeria‘s fourth African Cup of Nations crown in Egypt.
Some section of the Nigerian media , who made the general public to believe that winning the African Cup of Nations is the Country‘s birth right could be partly blamed for this immortal lie.
And so, It was not shocking when these section of the media turned critics and asked that the coach should be fired , following the team‘s failure to cross the semi-final hurdles against the Desert Foxes of Algeria at the tournament.
The critics forgot that Egypt, Cameroon and Ghana has more African Cup of Nations titles than the so called Giants of Africa,which means winning record eight bronze medals at the tournament does not make Super Eagles the most successful team in Africa, but ego, pride and past success are successfully getting the better part of the Country’s football stakeholders.
Of course, Nigeria has human and capital resources to rule the continent, but the game has gone beyond just that, it’s good structural organization and grassroots development that leads to sustainable achievements in the game.
Nigeria is far becoming a slave to her rich football past glory , the last time a Nigerian won the African footballer of the year was in 1999 and it shows our players has lost their place among the best from the continent.
In order to be successful again, the Nigeria Football Federation most go back to the drawing board ( if there’s any ), forget about the past achievements and create a new formula to help all national teams succeed , because other countries are doing better.
Therefore, winning a major tournament like African Cup of Nations is never Nigeria‘s birth right and if all stakeholders failed to address the problems rocking the Nigerian football , the country will remain the sleeping Giants of African Football.
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