By Tony Ubani
AS Nigerians continue to lament the dwindling fortunes of football in the country that has seen Niger lately stopping the country from qualifying for the African Nations Championship for home-based, NFA President, Sani Lulu, has exonerated Kano for the misfortune of the Eagles.
Nigeria suffered a similar fate when Angola stopped the Eagles from qualifying for the World Cup in Germany but Lulu said that he would still take subsequent matches to the ancient city. Ã apologise to Nigerians over the inability of Nigeria to qualify for the championship.
But it has nothing to do with Kano. The weather in Kano was fantastic. The government and people of Kano were at their best in terms of hospitality. It is unfortunate that the players could not score goals but they did excellently well. They attacked the Nigeriens from beginning to end. The Nigerian players played like wounded Lions. They did so well that the fans were satisfied with their performanceâ€, Lulu said yesterday in Lagos.
He, however, said that despite the defeat, there was a great achievement and lesson they learnt in Kano. â€œWe learnt from the Kano match that hooliganism can be tamed with good performance.
Thousands of fans who watched the match were satisfied and left without throwing a stone at anybody. It is a big lesson and a message we took away from Kanoâ€, Lulu said emphasising that the match was played in Kano as an instrument to unite the country.
Lending credence to Lulu, first Vice President, Amanze Uchegbulam, said that weather played no role during the match. Uchegbulam said that it was ill-luck, pointing out that the Nigerian side played 15 corner kicks to Nigerâ€™s two while the Nigerian goalkeeper caught the ball twice during the first half. â€œThe lesson is that you must have a team. Those boys were playing for the first time in that match. We must learn to play matches monthly to keep these boys togetherâ€, he said.