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CHAN 2018: Go Eagles, Go

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Nigeria league was recently ranked but I don’t know where we are really placed in the world. It got to show that our league is being monitored all around the globe. In recent past, our league was adjudged to be the third best in Africa. But our performance in continental championships in the last ve years or thereabouts has not placed us on a good pedestal for continental glory. Lowly- rated footballing countries like Sudan, Ethiopia, South Africa, Congo, Mali and Niger have been our nightmares to mount the podium to taste continental success.

Since Enyimba won the elusive CAF Champions League back to back close to two decades ago, no Nigerian clubs have come close to winning the most prestigious trophy again. Our clubs have wobbled, stumbled and fumbled on the continent because of lack of continuity. While other clubs with the support of their governments comb the world to look for the best legs to recruit, here we allow our best to leave for greener pastures and at times for the obscure leagues in the world under the guise of turning professional. In the past seasons, our top scorers or the highest goal scorers are nowhere to be found after just their one-season exploits. The football administrators or the club managers are also not helping things with the way they run the clubs. The administrators grow fatter and make more money at the expense of the poorly motivated and in most cases malnourished players. It is in this clime that you see o cials richer than the players unlike what obtains in Europe and other standard leagues in the world. Which club o cers can be as rich as Neymar (the world most expensive player), Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to mention but few? Nigerian players are not well-remunerated there is no doubt about that.

This introduction is sequel to what our boys, the CHAN Eagles are undergoing in Morocco. The boys have struggled to stamp their authority in the competition. Although, they have progressed to the knock out stages where they will face the Pelancas Negras of Angola. We saw how they labored against the Rwandans, managed to scale through Libya’s grip before staging a comeback in their last game against the Equatorial Guineans. It is sad to hear that the despite their heroic feat in Morocco, the boys have not been giving what is due to them. A friend who is on ground at CHAN said there is grumbling in the camp as the players are not happy with the administrators who have not deemed it t to give the players their dues.

The Federal Government approved the sum of N500 million for the CHAN Eagles to Morocco and the question to ask is what is delaying the payment of allowances and bonuses to the players.

Each player is expected to earn about $20,000 win-bonus and allowances should they win the 2018 CHAN in Morocco, o cials have disclosed. The breakdown of the win-bonus shows they will be paid $2000-a-man for a win in the group stage and they will get $3,000 each if they scale through the quarter- nal. Victory in the semi- nal is put at $4,000 per player, while they will receive $5,000 each if they win the championship. In addition to this each player entitled to $100 daily as camp allowance.

Nigerians believe that the Eagles will continue to improve with each game as we have seen in the group stage. But they need to be sharper if they want to scale the hurdle of the stubborn and tough Angolans. The Angolans got ve points, a win and two draws in a group that had Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Congo. They have scored only one goal and has not conceded any goal.

Our go-shy strikers will need to up the ante if they want to play in the semi- nal of the competition and possibly win the competition for the rst time. The likes of Sunday Faleye and Anthony Okpotu must do the needful and take their chances and should be not be wasteful as seen in the in the group games. Every player must play for one another from the goalkeeper to the striker. What Nigerians want to see against the Angola is team work and the never- say-die spirit of the Nigerian team.

Okpotu has promised to put the Angolans to the sword after nding the back of the net against the Equatorial Guineans. He said he is rearing to go to make Nigerians proud. “I am happy with our success so far as a team. I will always take my chances in front of goal to get more goals.”

FC Ifeanyiubah coach, Ladan Bosso has tipped the Super Eagles to play in CHAN nal.Hesaidtheplayersmust as a matter of necessity play as a team while calling on the Nigeria sporting media to continue to support Nigerian coaches through their reporting.

Nigerians look forward to see their darling team y to the semis as they tackle the Angolans in Tangiers today. Go Eagles, Go.



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