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‘Take your mind off Nigerian football to avoid heart-related illnesses’

Abakaliki – A medical practitioner has advised Nigerians to take their minds off the recent poor showings of the country’s national football teams so as to avoid suffering heart-related illnesses.

The medical practitioner, Dr Isabella Awoke, gave the advice on Sunday in Abakaliki while reacting to the Super Falcons’ failure to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games football event.

The Nigerian team had lost 3-4 on penalty kicks to the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in Yaounde on Saturday.

The African Qualifiers final round second leg match had ended 2-1 against the Nigerian side for a 3-3 aggregate scoreline.

The loss came on the heels of Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the 2012 African Nations Cup finals, and the failure of its clubs in the year’s continental competitions.

Awoke who is also an Abakaliki-based women football promoter remarked that it was unnecessary for Nigerians to continue endangering their lives with their passion for football.

“It is somehow fatal, when the politicians who manage football do not care about their feelings.

“Nigerians are very passionate about their football, but in times like these, when the results are steadily unfavourable, they should search for alternative sources of happiness,” she said.

Awoke disclosed that she had attended to several people with high blood pressure in the wake of the Super Eagles’ failure to beat Guinea’s Syli Nationale in Abuja on Oct. 8.

“After the Super Eagles’ elimination by Guinea from next year’s Nations Cup for instance, I treated several people for high blood pressure, and this was a situation that was not palatable,” she said.

The medical practitioner said Nigerian football fans should be aware that they were suffering from excessive freedom, which she described as one of the negative sides of democracy.

“Democracy tends to grant excessive freedom to individuals and constituted authorities, and that is why politicians in the country have abused the tenets of merit in making appointments.

“This is why, in a situation where individuals who do not have the faintest knowledge of football oversee its affairs, we should realise that football is not worth the lives of many Nigerians,” she said.

Awoke pointed out that Nigeria achieved much of its football glory during the military era, when merit and commitment were the guiding principles in making appointments.

“The glory days, anchored by the late Emeka Omeruah and Sani Toro, among others, were witnessed during the military era, while the democratic days had seen the dwindling of our football with the pot-bellied politicians in charge,” she said.

In his own reaction, Chief Angus Chima, an Ebonyi-based businessman and sports enthusiast, called on football fans in the country to take to the streets to protest the sport’s steady decline.

“Due to the fact that the present Nigerian Football Association (NFA) board members are apologists of the government, it has been difficult to remove them to chart a new course for our football.

“The Falcons’ failure to qualify for the Olympic Games should serve as a catalyst for football fans to revolt, to make government understand that the situation is no longer tolerable,” he said.(NAN)


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