Pillar of Sports Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu turned philosophical as Nigeria almost recorded a clutch of heart attack cases following Eaglesâ€™ dismal outing against Tunisia last Sunday.
Kalu had sounded it clear before the clash that Tunisians were no easy meat, warning about the luck of the draw. And he was proved right.
â€œHistory never alters much in itâ€™s texture. September is not a good month for the Eagles in the World Cup qualifiers. From our debut in 1960 until the first Tunisian scare in 1977, they failed to win a match in Septemberâ€ Kalu disclosed.
Four matches in September between 1960 and 1977, no victory recorded. Two of those matches ended in a home 2-2 draw, just like Sundayâ€™s, one in an away draw against the same Tunisia .
â€œOn September 10, 1960, the Red Devil as the Eagles were than known, could only manage a 2-2 draw at home to visiting Ghana Black Stars. September 13, 1969, it was another 2-2 home draw against Sudan . Eight days later, Morocco defeated Nigeria 2-1 in Rabat . In the next eight years, the Eagles picked a scoreless draw from Tunisia in Tunis , September 25, 1977â€, Kalu said.
And in all those qualifiers, the Nigerians failed to qualify for the Mundial. The only exception was on the way to the Eagles first time out at USA â€™94.
â€œUntil we beat Cote dâ€™Ivoire 4-1 in Lagos on September 25, 1993, the national team never won a qualifier in that month. Ironically, match referee was a Tunisian, Neiji Jouini, Kalu explained.
The Pillar of Sports message is clear. Those who do not know history are forever condemned to repeat it.