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Nigeria has the capacity in football to compete with any country but it must be with a united house


After the debacle of Kenya holding us to a draw last month in Calabar, of which truthfully the Super Eagles performance on the day did not warrant a draw, we need to ask ourselves what the next logical step should be. Can we say that on from the Nations Cup, we are in the process of building a Super Eagles team that will be competent enough to face the top sides in the world and not be embarrassed?

The template to create a strong and virile team is already in place – Nigeria has the mass in population to become great on the pitch (even if other sectors are lagging behind) but we must seize the window of opportunity that is currently open. We won the Nations Cup by sheer perseverance on the part of the coaches and the players because they were utterly desirous of making a name for themselves and also to prove the doubters wrong, but now we are here.

We all know that success can be fleeting and the mark of a successful person/entity is that they are able to maintain that success over generations and that is why we all love the Brazilian team that has been adopted worldwide.

Why? They are the world’s darling football team because they have managed to be successful across the ages from the 1950s till the present. Hungary was once a superpower in the sport but no one talks about them now.

For Nigeria to have continued success, the authorities that have been mandated to build the game must have a progressive plan on how they intend to build in the present and project into the future.

But what we see on the landscape today runs so contrary to what we should be doing. It seems that those that have been entrusted with building football in the country are mainly desirous of fighting egoistical wars.

If we cannot recognise the opportunity that has been given to us to build football in Nigeria to become a multi-billion Naira enterprise then the generations that are coming will curse us – yes.

The template for building success is not so stringent. Even if we do not agree on all things, we must agree on the fact that football in Nigeria must grow and if we have to sheathe our swords for a season, so let it be. But we will not grow when the house is divided against itself.

Proverbs 26:27says: “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.”

So this is asking all parties – the NFF, Stephen Keshi, the players, club owners, the Nduka Irabor-led League Management Committee, journalists and all concerned about seeing Nigerian football grow – please let us all sit down and plan to succeed and stop engaging the terminal war that we are all currently enmeshed.