WE cannot overlook certain things, even if the Eagles now look super after a massive draw against Tunisia. One is the rash decision to pay the team a full bonus for a draw. What will the players get for a win?
Yet I am told that money plays little part in what the players do, particularly when they only know what they would be paid after the game. Speculations persist that they collected the bonus ahead of the performance, which could have been the reason for full paymentÂ it is easy to retrieve a prey from an eagle. Ask anyone who tried.
My point really is that for $5,000 I could have done better than some of those Eagles. For half the bonus, I could still have done more.
If you cannot motivate the Eagles with money, there must be some way of getting them to do the job. The truth is that I do not know what that way is, otherwise I would have been the one they call Shuaibu Amodu. I neither envy him, nor pity him. He has chosen his path and he has to stick with it.
His is one of the most thankless jobs in the universe. I do not know how Nigerians have lived with the illusion that we must be at the World Cup. It has stuck and has become the biggest challenge any Eagles coach faces.
When I heard the Eagles got a draw against Tunisia, I rejoiced. Then I learnt that the Nigeria Football Association, wasÂ so happy at the effort it awarded a double bonus. I wondered why I did not make a career of playing football.
Some folks in Vanguard insist that for $1million I cannot make a difference to the Super Eagles. I disagree. For that type of money, I will find a god coach, get better players to do the job on my behalf, and still have a pile left for myself.
I do not know if the NFA operates under the 2007 FRA (nothing to do with the demised eminent lawyer of similarÂ name). The Fiscal Responsibility Act President Umaru MusaÂ Yar’Adua signed into law in late 2007 demands that governments and their agencies (it does not exclude the NFA) must state their expenditure, the nature of the expenditure and the source of the revenue for the purpose.
If we are to follow the spirit and intent of that law, some people should be on their way to jail., for changing the rules in the middle of the game, or was it at the end of the game? There was no budgetary provision for full bonus for a draw!
The Eagles have postponed our anxieties to September 6Â a Sunday. It affords full Friday prayers and more in church before we confront the Tunisians in a game that would decide the team that makes it to the first World Cup on African soil. The sentiments are too high for the Eagles to lose.
I wonder, I ponder, and I surrender to the wishes that the Eagles are in South Africa.
The truth is that I fear for the Eagles and the millions of Nigerians who follow them with a pounding passion that leaves the like of me confused. What happens if the Eagles are not in South Africa?
I am told it would affect businesses. Someone said it is imponderable something you cannot imagine, not to think about, a friend of mine would call it WANEÂ Words Are Not Enough.
There are too many past World Cup stories that cannot be told here, maybe there would be a day for them. Back in the days when we used to work together, Mitchell Obi was seen as the ultimate master of uneven luck for Nigerian teams. Instead of us admitting that our teams were uninspiring abroad, we blamed it on Mitchell being part of the party.
I asked him if he was Rades-bound, he said he passed the offer so nobody would blame him for any untoward result. The tension has not abated.
We await September 6!
What $5,000Â N900, 000 – Can Buy
1,800 votes at N500 each (depending on the party inducing voters)
4,500 loaves of the best bread in Lagos
4,500 bottles of beer to celebrate whatever
180 months (15 years) of tithes at N5, 000 monthly
3 years rent, if you are the type who live at N300, 000 yearly pads
A badly dented jeep across the border, the Naira is badly bashed these days
More than enough allowance for one of those soldiers wrongly jailed from Liberia
Just bride price in some parts of the East (terms and conditions apply)
A Distinguished Senator’s allowance for something
Enough money to build a village primary school
9 of the best bikes (for those youth empowerment schemes)
More hair dryers and sewing machines
18 traditional titles at N50,000 each
You can add to the listâ€¦
PS: For this amount, I would not have spent sleepless nights 20 years ago, in a cold hotel room in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, waiting to find out if a bet I had with Paul Bassey over a radio station went my way. I told Paul the station was VOA. He said it was not. We put $200 on the table and waited for four hours (untilÂ 4am) to know it was Radio Vatican. $5000 is a lot of money and we should not deceive ourselves about it. I guess if members of the NFA who robbed Nigerians in this disingenuous manner were paying from their pockets, they would have stuck to the agreed terms: half bonus for a draw. We have then to budget for double bonus for a victory in Abuja. The FRA would not mind to be stretched and stretchered in this manner, it is the way of countries that run on emotionsÂ we are top of that chart. Congrats Super Eagles, the target is a semi-final ticket in the World Cup, remember, by then, we would just leave the vaults of the Central Bank open and tell the players (and their officials) to please themselves.