ByÂ Ikeddy Isiguzo
EVERYTHING starts with a dream. I have been dreaming of Nigeria winning the 2010 World Cup. Before you say it, I must confess I have been just finished treatment for symptoms of malaria, and the heat, in my own part of the world, has not really been helpful.
Imagine the common commotion that would issue over claims about whose great strategies got us the Cup. Already, there is a silent war over whether we have paid adequate spiritual attention (also known as tactical) to the World Cup preparations.
Being a plural society in thought and taunt, it has been widely suggested that too much space was given to prophets (allegedly of the biblical hue) over imams and traditional practitioners, all of who claim their route to the Almighty is the quickest.
Some experts have maintained the World Cup qualifiers would have been easier if the Almighty’s assistance was sought with the density of our national desires. They are angling for their own World Cup action.
Whatever goes up or down, the World Cup prayer parties can explain it in ways to exculpate themselves. The list of principal actors in the victory party would not start with the players, as would be the case if another country wins. So far, we have underlined the unimportance of the players, we want a world class coach to handle players who are well past their days and there is really no problem in that because this World Cup is ours.
Nigeria does not have to go through the preparations other countries make. We are a great country. We are the giant of Africa. We are the foremost African football country. We are the most populous country in the continent, with Ethiopia and Egypt struggling for second place at 75 million, only half of our 150 million. We have the best players in the world. We are a country of 150 million coaches, though when we want to pretend seriousness we hire a foreign coach.
If Nigeria does not win the World Cup, no other African country will. I can justifying this position with the emphasis only a patriotic Nigerian, a recent convert, can make.
My decision is to be counted among those who saw this coming, as we always say.There are worries though.
Have we decided if we even need a team for the World Cup?
What would winning the World Cup do for Nigerian football?
Do we have the capacity to celebrate a World Cup victory?
Where would we keep the World Cup (someone reminded me that the CBN has a vault)?
Have we obtained permission from NEPA (is it still PHCN) that there would be electricity on celebration day?
Is anyone promising availability of fuel so we can power our generators and watch the matches?
When we get home after the rallies would there be water for our patched throats?
Have our security agencies cleared the gatherings?
Is it the Nigeria Football Association or the Presidential Task Force that would bring the World Cup home?
Would our people have enough food to twist to the demanding World Cup victory dance?
On arrival in Abuja would the World Cup go to the National Assembly, which after Doctrine of Necessity would decide whether to present it to the Acting President or the President?
There are other worries. While other countries are limited by their orderlinessÂ they are discussing bonuses and other ways of motivating their playersÂ we are cocksure about our capacity to meet any demand from the players.
I have learnt belatedly though that without players in sight, but with a team in place, it would be too presumptuous to commence thoughts on players’ welfare. Another argument is that officials are not disposed to making the figures public. We should remember that officials (technical, medical, physical, nutritional and nothingness) receive double the allowances players get. It is too early in the day to brew a scandal from the World Cup budget over allowances of officials.
The first fights are about becoming an official. Most recently, people in those places greet each other thus, Are you going to South Africa? The response is usually I don’t know (count that as yes). Nobody wants to let his 2010 World Cup strategy out of the bag too soon.
Another great thing about this World Cup?Â Nigerians are satisfied, according to NFA President Mallam Sani Abdullahi Lulu, that the NFA was able to hire a foreign coachÂ it sounds such a monumental achievement that winning the World Cup is actually a worthless dream.
Still On Bazuaye
I was one of the fans of NNB in the ’80s and Mr Bazuaye really impressed me as a coach. It is only unfortunate that hero like him is neglected at the time of needs.Â This prompted me to cull your appeal from the Vanguard news paper and paste it in Edo nation forum for appeal all over the world. I pray for more reaction.
On my part I am ready to donate any fitness equipment that could help to revalidate him. I need to have contact with his physiotherapist for specification.
F O Igbinoghodua, firstname.lastname@example.org, writing from Holland.
My gratitude goes to Mr. Igbinoghodua and all those who have indicated interests in assisting Mr. Willie Bazuaye. There would be an update next week.Please email comments, condemnations, or commendations to email@example.com