Super what?

Once again, millions of Nigerians got their hearts broken by a team that is supposed to be the current African champions. Therefore, next year, when African nations troop out in Equatorial Guinea for the 2015 African Cup of Nations, the green and white wearing team with her noisily exciting supporters would be missing. Curiously, Nigeria also failed to qualify for the 2012 tournament in Equatorial Guinea/Gabon.
Permutations, combinations, probabilities and iterations! Nigerians do not need any formal education to know the meaning of these words. Our national football team has made sure that all Nigerians understand the rudiments of football tournaments’ qualification criteria. Virtually all qualification campaigns involving the team climaxes in Nigerians checking the odds of qualification. Whereas, forward thinking teams confirm their qualification before the last match day, in Nigeria, it is a taboo to do that.
I have not watched the Eagles play since the last World Cup against France. I didn’t bother watching any of the nations cup qualifiers. The infighting in the NFF, and the weird dance between the coach and the NFF ensured that whatever sense of patriotism I felt couldn’t force me to sit in front of a TV for 90 minutes. However, on finding out that this was the last qualifying game, I decided to watch it. Just maybe, I hoped, the Eagles would snatch the group’s remaining qualifying spot.
The commentator duly informed the uninformed, that the Eagles would need to win South Africa, or at least, play a draw, and hope that the match in Sudan also ends in a draw. I smiled. Vintage Nigerian permutation!
So I sat for 90 minutes, watching a game that wasn’t in any way impressive. My annoyance further worsened by the quality of the match commentary. The commentators did not have a list of the South African players, and resorted to using their jersey numbers as a reference. NTA or AIT (whichever had the broadcast rights) also failed to display a digital clock. “First Half” doesn’t exactly communicate the time.
A team supposedly desperate to qualify cannot afford to be a goal down. Our Eagles found a way to go two goals down, later scoring a lifeline and finally equalizing at the tail end. Unfortunately, Congo managed a win against Sudan, and our chance of qualifying was blown into the wind.
Discussing the technicalities of the match isn’t my interest. The huge army of sports analysts would do justice to that. I’m just not happy that there would be nothing to compel me to watch AFCON 2015, and I pity the throng of football gamblers who placed bets on Nigeria. Sorry guys! Better luck next time. I hope the NFF would finally decide to sit down and look into restructuring the team, and not wait until it’s time for another qualification campaign.
Until then, no one should mention “super” in the same paragraph with “eagles”.

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