The Super Eagles of Nigeria, the country’s national team would file out today to play against the Black Stars of Ghana in the return leg of the final qualifying match for the World Cup in Qatar, November 2022. Africa has five slots in the tournament. Four days ago, the Eagles and the Black Stars in the first leg of their final encounter ended the match 0-0. That was a very disappointing match. A winner must emerge today. The winner will go to Qatar 2022. The Ghanaians have been boasting that they would stop Nigeria. They must not be allowed to do so. The matter between Nigeria and Ghana goes beyond football. It is all about national pride, brand and identity, from football, to jollof rice, women, men, culture and fashion.
Austin Eguavoen and his team must be told very clearly, that they cannot and they must not disgrace us. We are Nigerians. Our political leaders may not mean well. Our institutions may not work. The national currency may be sliding. The country’s unemployment rate may be high. But we, as a people, are diamonds. We do not like to be disgraced. We do not enjoy humiliation. We love to win.
Last week, the Super Eagles against Ghana at the Baba Yara, Kumasi Stadium played as if Ogbono soup had been splattered all over the football field. The only man who could stand firm was the goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho. Nobody must fall down anyhow today as if they are wearing banana peel boots. Nobody must put us to shame. Eguavoen and his team must not disgrace us.
Play whatever pattern you want: 4-2-3-1, 3-5-2. Just score the goals and shut up the likes of John Dumelo, a Ghanaian actor who thinks he can run his mouth all over Nigeria’s reputation. Wake up Eagles, do something good! The best gift anyone can give Nigerians at this moment is a 2022 World Cup ticket.
We may all be so busy watching the World Cup, the 2023 general election may end up as just another event.
Let’s show the Ghanaians that our football, like our jollof, is better than theirs. As they say on the streets, today na today!