7 minutes with China: Eagles can save Nigeria from sinking into anarchy

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The
Super Eagles can actually save Nigerian football from a complete breakdown of
law and order if they beat Iceland 
on Friday in their second
group game of the World Cup. 

The ominous signs are visible, the drum beats can be heard in the background
and the difference between war and the peace of the grave yard is 3
points 
on Friday

I have followed Nigerian football voraciously since the early 80s and I am not new
to the politicking in election years.

Granted that until Kojo Williams in the late nineties, appointments to the
board and dissolution had been by military fiat and depended on the mindset of
our military rulers. 

We
all saw how Ibrahim Galadima lost in his attempt to be re-elected in 2006 so
his successor Sani Lulu would not take chances. 
In 2010, Lulu toyed
with the idea of taking FA Chairmen and secretaries from the 36 states to South
Africa for the World Cup. Maybe, it was in a bid to be re- elected.
Word
on the street had it that Football Club chairmen and other stakeholders were
also sponsored to South Africa by the Lulu administration, but on their return,
Aminu Maigari was the new president of the Federation after the elections.

2014 was worse as the battle started in Brazil. Aminu Maigari had towed the
line of his predecessor from 4 years back and everyone who they thought was
relevant was in South America where deals were being struck and positions were
shared depending on whose slate you were on and what they thought you could do
for them as regards winning the elections.

We know how that ended. The battles for the soul of Nigerian football leading
to Maigari allegedly being forced to resign and not re-contest, FIFA writing
letters on a regular, a lot of them not coming from Switzerland, but a computer
center close to you, two elections in Abuja, one in Warri and then two
Federation presidents happened just four years ago, so I am sure we still
remember. It was all content for a blockbuster TV series.

How the Eagles come in 

Super Eagles need moments like these
Fair-play
to the would be warring parties as they have behaved themselves until now, but
that is because, as I think, no one wants to be pointed at as the one that
disrupted the harmony in the team. 

But, just like in 2010 and 2014, there is a massive delegation in Russia for
the World Cup and a lot of them are there on the bill of the Federation, as I
gathered. Politically motivated? I do not know, but nothing has changed, except
that there is peace until now.

If the Eagles win against Iceland, there will be the kind of peace we call the
graveyard type. I’ve never understood what that term meant anyway. Then the
warring parties will wait until after the Argentina game to see if Nigeria
qualifies for the 2nd round. If we do, they wait to fight another day, and if
we don’t, your guess is as good as mine.

No matter what happens, there will be a battle for the soul of Nigerian
football, but like I wrote in this piece months ago, the Eagles need to get to
the quarter finals to give Amaju Pinnick some respite and a fighting chance at
re-election.

If Nigeria fails to win against Iceland on Friday, the battle
begins.

Those politicians sponsored to Russia will shift to the camp they really are
part of or the camp they think has a better chance and the war starts from
Putin’s backyard.

Back in Nigeria, the EFCC, DSS and this time, may be SARS will be waiting and
as soon as the delegation arrives from Russia, arrests will be made, or to
sound politically correct, key stakeholders will be invited for
questioning.

There will be anarchy, complete breakdown of law and order in Nigerian
football, but it shouldn’t surprise us, should it?

While this is on, the media will be in full drive, meetings will be held with
top sports editors, narratives discussed and pushed through the traditional
media. 

On social media,
influencers will be hired and dirt will be unearthed and published against the
major players in the battle just to prove each is not good enough to manage
Nigerian football and should rather be in jail. 
As
this continues, FIFA will begin to write strange letters, as usual, most of
whose IP addresses would be Lagos, Abuja or somewhere close to you… anywhere,
but from Switzerland. 

At this same time, the Super Eagles would have crucial AFCON qualifiers for the
2019 edition but that would be the least of our problems since we would have
bigger battles to fight anyway. 
All
the Eagles need to do is win the World Cup to avoid all of this. Little wonder
Amaju Pinnick kept on shouting at the roof tops that the Eagles can win the
World Cup. He knew what that would avoid. He knew it wasn’t possible but he
said it repeatedly in his mind, started to believe it and began to proclaim
it. 

The Eagles can stop Nigerian football from descending into total anarchy and
breakdown of law and order so they must win against Iceland. 

Oops! My 7 minutes are up.

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