TheSports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Lagos chapter, has called on Nigerians and football fans to remain positive about the Super Eagles, declaring that they gave a fair representation and were gallant even in their defeat to France in the second round of the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
In a statement signed by its chairman, Fred Edoreh, and secretary, Emma Njoku, the association pointed out that the national team gave a good fight against top seeded soccer nations like Argentina and France and their performance gives hope that the team is progressive.
“The Super Eagles were gallant even in their defeat. We can pride in the fact that they fought a brave fight and gave a good account of themselves against highly rated soccer nations like Argentina and France. This performance is an improvement over our outings in France ’98, Korea/Japan 2002, Germany 2006 in which we did not even qualify and South Africa 2010.
This performance compares to our showing in USA ’94 and it indicates that our football is recovering and progressive in the present dispensation.
While it would have been more pleasant if we had progressed in this competition, we should also recognise that that is the nature of sports and that other top rated football nations, notably past two World Cup winners, Italy and Spain, and countries like Portugal, parading World Footballer of the Year, England and others were eliminated in the first round. We should appreciate the efforts of our team and encourage the players, technical crew and the NFF to keep working hard to improve.
They stability of the team and the management of our football with the continued support of soccer fans, the public, corporate organisations and the government is critical to our building process. There may be required technical and tactical inputs but, with all hands on deck, these can be imparted and we can build a stronger and more competitive team for future engagements. This is a Super Eagles of hope.”
Commending the federal government for providing all needed material and moral support for the team through the qualifiers and into the World Cup proper, Lagos SWAN urged the government not to relent in its publicly acknowledged commitment to the development of sports as there are visible results of its investment.
“We commend the federal government for the moral and material support it gave to the team during the qualifiers and to the World Cup just as it has continued to give to all our national sports teams. We urge Mr. President and the sports minister not to relent. The commitment, efforts and initiatives of the government to sports development is publcly acknowledged and the results are showing. We can only get better if we dont relent.”