Talking points for Nigeria vs. Ghana Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Moses Simon, Iheanancho, and Chukwueze are no doubt important players for the national team but on the strength of their performances against Tunisia and Ghana, they need not start on Tuesday

Talking points for Nigeria vs. Ghana Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
Nigeria vs Ghana

Talk is cheap: Sunday Dare the Minister of Youths and Sports Development told Our Boys before the battle of Kumasi: "We are not going to Ghana to draw. We are going to beat the s*** out of them.”

Mr. Minister if you had started a proper football development program since your appointment maybe, just maybe, we would beating teams on the continent the way Brasil and Argentina beat teams in South America in ten years but with you and your predecessors’ love affairs with promotional aspect of sports still waxing strong and stronger,

Our Boys will continue to struggle, despite our potential to be the world leader in football and sports generally.     

Pinnick, back to back World Cup qualification is not a legacy:  Don’t be surprised if after Our Boys has qualified for the World Cup on Tuesday Amaju Pinnick spin doctors start bombarding all media platforms with his feat of being the first NFF president to qualify Nigeria for the World Cup back to back and hinge his rumoured third term ambition on this feat.

We will remind them that qualification for the World Cup is not a feat. Pinnick was elected to give us a football economy not qualification for tournaments. 

In the last seven years, Pinnick and his partner Shehu Dikko have failed abysmally to achieve this. Our leagues are in comatose, ditto youth development, same with women’s football, the FA Cup has lost all glamour and glory, and I could go on and on. The only thing thriving under Pinnick is CAF and FIFA programs.

Hoping Dare will not emulate Dalung and ask Buhari for World Cup money:  Journalists are the conscience of any nation and I hope Sunday Dare the current Minister of Sports, a reporter, will make our constituency proud and won’t ask President Mammamdu Buhari for money for Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup like Solomon Dalung did for Russia 2018 World Cup which I called a scam then. Threats to sue then did not see the light of the day because it was a scam. 

For Dare’s information, FIFA will give us about $12 million to prepare for the World Cup and for our group matches. As we progress in the championships our share of FIFA prize money increases. 

If NFF says FIFA money will come after the World Cup tell them to take a loan, many banks will be willing to do that.

In a country where all aspects of school sports are dead, where youth development is in dire need of finances, funding all-expenses-paid championships is a crime against humanity. 

Abuja as the venue is Kobo wise Naira Foolish: Whoever decides Abuja as the venue of the Tuesday World Cup qualifier match between the Eagles and the Black Stars must be a neophyte in sports.

Even when the country was secured, Abuja Stadium by virtue of its location is not attractive to the crowd. With the insecurity in the country, the stadium is a no-go area in the evening. 

To assuage the error, we are now spending millions on security, free tickets, free transportation, and many other expenses on a match that is supposed to give NFF millions of Naira. 

Ghana on the other hand raked in a historic GH₵1.4 million ($190,000) from the Friday match in Kumasi. Imagine if the venue of this match were to be Port Harcourt, Kano, Ibadan, Lagos, or Aba, the NFF will and the host will be smiling to the bank.

Diarrhoea of the mouth award for Kurt Okraku: Kurt Okraku, the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) was quoted to have said, “It’s that time of the year where Ghana must be at the Mundial, but before we do that, we have a common foe, the Super Eagles of Nigeria. They come across as our little babies, but they pretend to be the big boys,” he said. This an insult to Nigeria and only we can deal with this is not only to qualify for the World Cup but for the Abuja crowd to give him a bag of okra for winning the diarrhoea of the mouth award instead of a World Cup ticket

Wanted: Kumasi crowd in Abuja: The winner of Friday’s match in Kumasi were the Black Stars supporters. From the start till the end of the match they were solidly behind their team. Nigeria supporters should please emulate the Ghanaian supporters and get behind Our Boys.

Eguavoen please put smiles on our faces not excuse: Austin Eguavoen is a nice guy, his penchant to justify and rationale situations strained the descriptive power of any adjective but we are tired of excuses and rationalization, we want a good result, we want the World Cup ticket and to achieve this on Tuesday we need to see your nasty side.

Our defenders and goalkeeper are okay; Unless Eguavoen wants to include Calvin Bassey in the defence for Zaidu  Sanusi who suffered a knock in Kumasi,  our defenders and goalkeeper Francis Uzoho should be retained for the Tuesday match. 

Let Simon, Chukwueze Iheanacho should start on the bench 

Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanancho, and Samuel Chukwueze are no doubt important players for the national team. But on the strength of their performances against Tunisia and Ghana they need not start on Tuesday let’s try other players like Dennis Emmanuel and Frank Onyeka.

After qualification, we need a good Technical Adviser

No disrespect to Austin Eguavoen and Emmanuel Amunike they are not at the top of their games. Eguavoen has shown time and again that he has no plan B. Amunike that has been drafted to assist him does not also have the pedigree. Winning the U-17 World Cup and qualifying Tanzania for Nations Cup is not good enough to coach a team in the World Cup.

Nigeria today needs a top coach who is versed in science, tactics and is flexible. We don’t need a big name that will cost us millions of dollars. They’re more than a thousand and one excellent coaches in Eastern Europe that will not cost an arm and leg. The embassies of Hungary, Bulgaria, and other East European counties in Abuja will be more than willing to assist us. See you in Qatar Insha Allah