By Tony Ubani
IN the beginning, not many believed that the Eagles would cross the first hurdle of the FIFA U-17 World Cup which ended in flying colours at the magnificent Abuja national stadium. At the middle of the competition, the Eaglets converted so many to place their hopes on them as they improved from match to match.
And at the end, almost everybody believed that the Eaglets would retain the trophy won in South Korea by late Yemi Tella. And they crashed. To a young Swiss team that made history by becoming the first Swiss team, male or female to win a FIFA trophy.
Joseph Sepp Blatter, the Swiss fox who holds the mantle of leadership of FIFA smiled and cheered. Poor Nigerian kids. Yes! They are kids and showed it the way they gnashed their teeth in front of television cameras. FIFA freed the Eaglets and Nigeria from allegations of age-cheating despite massive evidence that came from Port Harcourt. Why did the Eaglets raise everybodyâ€™s hope and dashed it when it mattered most?
Chief coach of the Cadet team John Obuh who came prepared to display his Ohafia War dance cap was disappointed with the bunch of self-seeking players who dumped his instructions to play to the gallery. â€œWe lost because the players discarded my instructions and decided to play to impress agents of football clubs who have been hovering over us in camp. The boys became selfish not playing the team game that brought us this far. They wanted to score and refused to pass the ball to others who were better positioned to score.
I feel sad. I feel angry and disappointed that we got to this level only to lose to a team that we should not ordinarily lose toâ€, Obuh said as he reached for his war dance cap.
Where were the camp commandants when they allowed the Agents to gain access to the players? Were they all consumed by the euphoria of the Green Eagles qualification fo the World Cup in South Africa?
Besides the reasons above, the Eaglets lost because they were made to believe in man instead of putting their trust in God. Certain Pastors were wagging their tails and taking the glory of the success of the Eaglets and the national teams because of their earlier predictions that came to pass. But at the end, God proved that heâ€™s God. The Swiss team won because of hard-work.