It was a champagne party for Pillar of Sports,Â Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, following Nigeriaâ€™s grouping alongside Egypt in Angola 2010 Nations Cup.
The patriotic celebrations may be a reflection ofÂ what to expect in Luanda as Kalu took time to flaunt reasonsÂ for dismissing the defending champions.
â€œNigerians, wherever you are please join me in singing and dancing. With Egypt in our group, Eagles can go to bed. Pharoahs are condemned to tears while we jubilate. Since 1976, both teams have met five times in the Nations Cup.
Apart from not losing, our boys also won medals in those tournaments, while the Egyptians went home emptyÂ handedâ€, Kalu announced.
These indeed are historical facts, as our checksÂ revealed. Egypt lost 2-3 in 1976, fell 0-1 in 1980, slumped 7-8 penalties in 1984, went down 0-1 in 1990 and got a barren draw in 1994. In those editions, Nigeria earned two cup victories, two silver medals and one bronze. Their foes got just nothing.
Kalu was quick to explain that the North Africans were so condemned for causingÂ Nigeria pains in their first Nations Cup meeting in 1963.
â€œI think our founding fathes cast a spell on the Pharaohs. Barely a month after Nigeria became a Republic onÂ October 1 1963, Egypt beat us 6-3 in Kumasi during the Nations Cup in Ghana. That was the very first time a team would concede six goals in the championship which began in 1957. So I think they will continue to pay tribute toÂ the Eagles in the Nations Cupâ€, the former Abia State Governor joked.
Kalu expressed joy that Egypt would be in Angola as defending champions, a tag enough for them to beÂ beaten by Nigeria.
â€œEagles are killers of defendingÂ champions. Find out from Zaire (Congo DR) in 1976, or GhanaÂ in 1984. Do you remember what happened to Cote dâ€™Ivoire in 1994, Cameroun in 2004 and Tunisia in 2006?â€, he asked.
The Pillar of Sports added that Egypt should thank their Pyramids for not meeting the Eagles in 2006 and 2008Â when they increased their Nations Cup haul.
â€œI led Enyimba in 2003to Nigeriaâ€™s first Championâ€™sÂ League trophy when they beat Ismail. Hosni Abd Rabbou, SayedÂ Moawad and Ahmed Fathi were in the team that lost.
These same boys based in Africa, terrorised teams with Euro-basedÂ superstars. If they had played N igeria, iam sure thew wouldnot look Vincent Enyeama, Obinna Nwaneri and Dele AiyenugbaÂ straight in the face,â€ Kalu stressed.