Uyo has to be cursed or how
else can you explain why Nigeria failed to beat the ordinary South
Africa’s Bafana Bafana, why?

This is the campaign that has
been pushed by certain people who are still yet to deal with fact
that South Africa may have overtaken Nigeria football wise.

In women football a time
existed when Nigeria would close its eyes and beat the Banyana
Banyana four or five nil.

At the last AFCON for women,
we all watched and saw how the Super Falcons managed to win that
encounter, they just managed.

In men football, it started
from the 4-0 thrashing of South Africa in Lagos in 1992 and
culminated in the 2014 draw that was 2-2, a game that ensured Nigeria
did not make it to the AFCON of 2015.

What happened in Uyo last week
had taken 25 years of planning. While Nigeria/ Nigerians mocked the
South Africans and called them names, especially, ‘our wives’
they went to their proverbial drawing board and plotted their graphs.

The result was what we saw in
Uyo on Saturday, a game that Nigeria could have lost by 4 or 5 mil
but we lucky to have lost just by 2 goals.

And just in case, you did not
realise, the Nigerian strikers on the pitch, all of Kelechi
Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, Victor Osimen and Kayode
Olarenwaju did not have a single shot on target for 90 minutes.

Then you begin to wonder what
plans we had before and during the game. Why did they come? Why did
they play? Not a single shot on target? Then what were they doing all
game long?

But who do you blame for all
this (because we are Nigerians and will always blame someone or
something).

First, Gernot Rohr had to be a
useless coach. How could he invite those kind of players and none
from the Nigerian league was good enough to start? #RohrOut.

Then it was the fact that
Daniel Akpeyi was a useless goalkeeper? So useless that he was in
goal for Chippa United twenty eight times in the Premier Soccer
League and twice in the NedBank Cup games.

Let us not get into and
argument over who has a better League between Nigeria and South
Africa. But in any case, #AkpeyiOut.

But after the Daniel Akpeyi
tirade, the focus moved to the fact that even the foreign based
players invited were too young to start for Nigeria and the Eagles
needed more experience.

Suddenly those in China like
Brown Ideye and Odion Ighalo who “mortgaged the Super Eagles for
money” were beginning to become useful again. #InexperienceOut

After that, the narrative
changed to the fact that that the Super Eagles did not have match
balls for the game and had to use the ones provided by their
opponents.

So, Who touched our balls?
Not me. At least I know I shouldn’t be touching your balls and
you shouldn’t be touching mine, so who touched our balls?

Could that also have caused
the loss? Well, Nigerians said it was part of it, didn’t they?
#NFFOut

And finally, the one that beat
them all was when Uyo became a jinxed and evil stadium and this was
not just coming from the football writers but from Nigerians of all
walks of life.

About three hours after the
game, a friend I have known for thirty five years sent a text message
to me, China, how body? Hope all’s well with you and the family.
Please use your connections to ensure that NO MORE QUALIFYING MATCHES
ARE PLAYED IN THAT DAMNED JINXED STADIUM IN UYO. Yes, it looks
gorgeous but we will NEVER QUALIFY for any tournament if we continue
playing the matches there. Thanks, good night.

And just on Tuesday morning, I
read an article by an Abuja based journalist titled, TIME TO DUMP
GODSWILL AKPABIO STADIUM FOR GOOD. #UyoOut

A good old saying goes, “If
you fail to plan then you plan to fail,” but Nigerians never
understand. One of the reasons the Super Eagles moved their games
from Calabar to Uyo was because it was cursed after the country lost
2-3 to Congo in an AFCON 2015 Qualifying game.

A few years back, Nigeria
decided to not play in Kano again after a World Cup Qualifying game
against Angola ended 1-1. Nigeria did not qualify for the World Cup
but rather than blame an unserious team, an unserious coach and an
unserious NFF, we chose to blame Kano for being too hot.

The Super Eagles had one game
in Kaduna in 2016 and it ended 1-1 against Egypt, all but ending our
chances of qualifying for the 2017 AFCON.

I doubt if the Super Eagles
will go near Kaduna again. It had to be the fault of the town.

Nigeria MAY not return to Uyo.
Maybe Port Harcourt will reap for the jinx of the evil Uyo or maybe,
the games may return to Abuja, but there is there really anything
evil about the Stadium in Uyo?

The reason we lost to South
Africa is what we all know if we stop, think and listen.

There is nothing wrong with
the people of Uyo, er…well, except for the occasional body odour
(but that never caused any national team to lose a game), and
certainly there is nothing wrong with the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.

Nigerians can continue to live
in denial all they like. We should actually thank the South Africans
for having mercy on us and not spelling U-Y-O- on the day or some
other scandalous word like N-A-I-J-A-

Terrorist
journalist in Enugu

Nigerian football clubs and
their politicians are like a chip off the old block as it seems they
both learned their trade off the same manual.

Write good reports about a
Nigerian politician and you and he are best friends for life but the
moment you mention a project abandoned, or one poorly done, you are
tagged a member of the opposition party and you immediately become a
target.

And this holds true for
Nigerian clubs. I am sure we all know this.

A day after the annihilation
of the Super Eagles by Bafana Bafana in Uyo I moved over to Enugu for
the League game between Rangers and Akwa United and the things I saw/
heard got me thinking.

Rangers International have
allegedly tagged a certain journalist, a terrorist and security
threat against them.

Well, they didn’t exactly
used the word ‘terrorist’ but when you call a person a security
threat and ban that person from your stadium, then questions will be
asked.

She had been a part of the
Rangers family for the last few years and fought many battles for
them last season when they won the League but suddenly the team
started doing badly this season and with relegation starring them in
the face they needed to blame someone and she was the pick.

My investigations reveal that
Rangers claim that when Gombe United scored against them in Enugu a
few weeks ago, this journalist was caught celebrating and was
immediately branded an enemy of the club/ state.

My sources tell me the Rangers
management wrote to the Enugu State FA requesting that this female
journalist be barred from their stadium because they could no longer
guarantee her safety. She was actually described as “a security
threat.”

I spoke to a member of the
Rangers management and his story was that she was reported by a fan
of the team known as Baba Agu who was banned by the League Management
Company after the crisis of the Gombe United match.

They claim Baba Agu is very
popular and has lots of thugs fingered this female
journalists as being the one who reported them to the LMC for the
violence unleashes in the game against Gombe United in which the LMC
camera man was beaten up.

They claim after a meeting to
discuss the matter, they sought advise from the State Football
Association who advised them to stop this journalist from coming to
the Stadium to watch their games.

He also mentioned the name of
FA chairman, Offor Okenwa as one of those who took the decision to
stop this journalist from watching their games.

My source at the club, a top
member of the management denied that they had anything against this
journalist but were trying to protect her though he however
insinuated that her previous allegiance to the club may have been due
to the fact that Imama Amapakabor was the coach and that allegiance
evaporated with his sack.

But writing a letter naming a
journalist as a security threat to your team and barring her from
watching your games is taking this to a whole new level.

The charges against this
journalists are- She celebrated when Gombe United scored against
Rangers in Enugu, She was caught talking on the phone to a person
from the League Management Company reporting the violence at the
stadium that led to the sanctions against Rangers and also that when
the referee added 5 minutes to regular time, she exclaimed to the
hearing of these same thugs of Baba Agu that 5 minutes was too much.

Bottom line, Rangers like
other Nigerian clubs or politicians who are sinking must look for a
scape goat, an enemy who is fighting them and is cause of their
downfall.

Today it is this journalist,
tomorrow, it will be someone else, but to call a journalist a
security threat to your team is taking it to a whole new level.

I wish Rangers the best in
their fight against relegation and advise them to choose their
battles wisely.

Until next week when some
other topic on Nigerian football will deserve a blog post, I need to
go to bed now.

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