BY OJIEVA EHIOSUN
Just 54 days to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, some Nigerian football managers and ex-Internationals have called on the Super Eagles players, their managers and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to save Nigeria from disgrace at the Mundial following rumors making the round that Super Eagles players are bent on taking their wives and kids to the World Cup. Why some see it as a welcome development, others say it will make the players to lose concentration, adding that Nigerian players are not yet ripe for such.
Fatai Amaoo: To me it is a welcome development in the history of Nigeria football. In developed countries, it is done and people there do not see it as any big deal. It is very good for the players and even the officers. I think it will make the players to be focused and not think of their family. If a player’s wife and kids are there to watch him, it will boost his morale, thereby making him know that he must put in his best because he would not want a situation where his wife and kid would say, Dad you were not at your best today. All the current world best players, I mean those who are already married, do it. So I think the NFF should allow the players choose a course of happiness for themselves, provided it does not affect them. It is not as if they are going to be in the same hotel, but they should be given access to see their loved ones at least during trainings and after matches.
More so, as long as they have the financial power to carry their loved ones to Brazil, there is no harm in it. That should not pose any problem, rather we should be more serious with the level of preparations for the games, and they should be total support from all Nigerians.
Friday Ekpo: First and foremost, I’m happy that Nigerian football is gradually regaining its lost glory in the continent, and I must give kudos to those behind this huge successes that we have recorded in the past three years.
For the Super Eagles and their wives going to the World Cup, I do not know whether the plan is from the FA or between the players and their managers, but which ever way it goes, I do not think it is the best for us. This is our 5th appearance at the World Cup, it has never happened where players carry their loved ones to a world class event like the World Cup. Yes it is good for you to have your wife around you, but not in a situation like this. You can not be thinking of your wife at the war front, it will only make the team to lose direction of their aim and objective. I personally do not subscribe to such thing, it is not the best for us.
Yes we may want to emulate other countries, the structures those people have on ground we do not have it. It is wrong for anyone to support such a thing. On the other hand, the players’ wives can go to Brazil to enjoy themselves, but not to the detriment of the entire nation. If they go, they should not be allowed to come near the camp of the players, they can reach their husbands through phone calls. Eagles are not going to the World Cup for jamboree, the World Cup is like a battle field, the only difference is that at the end, both the winners and losers come together to embrace themselves. So we must be very careful to do things that will not make other people mock us at the Mundial.
Dominic Nwobodo aka Alhaji: This is a very sensitive issue, it all depends on the coaches and the NFF. It has never been in the interest of Nigeria seeing players take their wives to the World Cup. It is a thing the NFF and the coaches must seat together to iron out so that they will not start trading blames when eventually things do not go as expected. The NFF are the decision makers in football, so they should be able to say Yes or No. When things go wrong, Nigerians will hold them accountable for it. If the players do not take their wives to the World Cup in Brazil, the Heavens will not fall. In our playing days, you dare not talk about a woman let alone having them around you when serious competition is going on. I remember that many Nigerian players have had issues with their coaches over leaving the camp in the night to club. So Keshi should not do things that will bring problems to him, because at the end of it all, it is him and members of his team that will carry the blame.
Christian Chukwu: If the head of the coaching crew has giving his blessing to his boys to come to Brazil with their wives and kids then what else do you expect anybody to say about it. As long as they have the financial muscle to do it and it will not affect their performance and training , I do not have problem with it. And if at all they decide to take their wives there, as a member of the technical committee, I do not think we would allow them to come to the players camp, because the players need absolute concentration in camp.
In fact during our days we do not even have money to take care of our immediate needs let alone carrying wives and loved ones to trips. Today Nigerian players can decide to sponsor a whole community to Brazil because the money is there. Well, if women give present day players morale boosting, I’m yet to see it. What we want is result, but I know that NFF will never agree to it and they do not have money for such things.
Godwin Izilien: There is no need deceiving ourselves, Nigeria is not ripe for such things now. In future, I can say yes but now it is uncalled for. No matter the level of professionalism of our players, they are not mature for it. We do not need any distraction now, we have to tell ourselves the truth. If the idea is from the coaches, then they do not know what they want for themselves. Keshi should realise that there are people out there waiting for him to fail, and if such thing should happen, he would be the one to take the blame, not me, so he must get his priority right. This is not the time to gamble. Also I want to appeal to the FA to allow Keshi do his job. We should be talking about our preparations. I’m not too satisfied with the level of our build-up for the competition. We have forgotten World Cup competition is for those that have proven themselves, so we must not go there to disgrace the country or continent.
Tony Emeduofu, aka Poropo: Look there is nothing wrong if players want to take their wives to Brazil for the World Cup. Every Nigerian player is sex crazy and like having beautiful girls around them. In my days as a player, girls give me motivational spirit, I used to take my girl friends and loves to the pitch, it made me fly high. So the NFF should allow the players to have their wives around them to avoid players leaving the camp in the night to clubs.
These players have the money to throw around, nobody should pity them, they can spend their money the way they wish to, that does not stop them from doing their best. Why are they saying no to it. Majority of the NFF members sleep with more than three girls a night. So why the noise about this. They are not even ashamed that we have the worst preparations so far. If we fail at this World Cup, we will call on the Federal government to disband the entire NFF. Again they should allow Stephen Keshi to pick his players and stop interfering with his job.