“ You again. I wish it was that easy. A lot of people just turn deaf ears. They are not interested whether you are doing well or not. Theirs is just to get you out. ..How now, was surprised when I heard that you called. Hope all is well? Are you in Nigeria?”
When I read and listen to the moanings of my colleagues who travelled to Liberia with the Super Eagles, I thank God for diverting me as it were to Niamey as part of the delegation for the Africa U-17 Qualifier against Niger.
Last Saturday was indeed a busy one for Nigerian football with the country involved in three key matches. First to kick off was the third place match in the FIFA U-20 Women World cup and the Falconets lost 1-2 to Japan.
My three day stay in Cairo, Egypt afforded me the uninterrupted opportunity of watching the Paralympics courtesy Nile Sports Channel.
While waiting for my kids to provide me with the full… of this popular nursery rhyme, these two lines I believe are enough to explain the expedition of some Nigerians who left our shores some twenty days ago to London!
I start this way. On Saturday night I sat through a punishing ninety minutes as Sunshine Stars of Nigeria grabbed a valuable point away in Sousse, Tunisia against Etoile Du Sahel in the ongoing Orange CAF Champions league round robin stage.
I repeat here verbatim a column that I wrote last year concerning the denial of visa to Nigerians on official sports assignment. Specifically the beach soccer team to Italy.
There was drama on Thursday as I sent a text to Barrister Green to enquire the ambience in the hall as CAF got set to draw for the Nations Cup last qualifying matches.
This weekend, the 16th edition of the flagship club competition of the Confederation of African Football CAF, the Orange CAF Champions League “CL2O12” will kick off all over the continent.
Today I have decided to drop everything to celebrate a sports legend of our time. A living Encyclopaedia of our football, a man who God has given me the privilege to understudy as secretary of Association of Sports Veterans Nigeria, of which he is the President.
Saturday afforded me the first opportunity of watching live, Keshi’s “Work –in-progress” Eagles, so off I went to calabar.
I seek permission from Demola Olajire, the NFF Media officer for using his coinage as the title of my column today. Saturday evening, when I got Demola’s lengthy and exhaustive report from Blantyre, the phrase stood out, first as excuse for our not getting the maximum three points at stake, then as a commendation for the draw.
Last Saturday, foot-ball faithful all over the world were joined by their African colleagues to celebrate the feast of football as the 2014 FIFA World Cup Preliminary competition kicked off.
The FIFA website has it that this week end, over one hundred countries, translated to fifty matches, will play preliminary matches of the 2014 World Cup kick off all over the world and Nigeria definitely is involved in the fray.
What a bizarre headline for a sports column. I owe you an explanation. As you are reading this, the victorious U-20 Women National team are less than six hours away from touch down at the Abuja Airport, on board Ethiopian Airlines from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This week, I have a double header. I want to talk about a veteran called Calabar and a fresh air that is the programme entitled Women on The Ball.
The story of Stephen Keshi and the Super Eagles can be better told next month. EARLY NEXT MONTH.
John Muinjo is the Chairman of the Namibia Football Association. He was in Cairo last week for the FIFA Workshop for Elite Match Commissioners in Africa and that is where I met him.
On Saturday, the football world stood still for what is being referred to as the greatest club match in the world, Barcelona against Real Madrid, dubbed and rightly too as El Clasico.
Time was when the South African football league was not worth even the effort Supersport was putting into popularizing same.
Throughout the House of Representatives and Senate Committee sessions on sports, there was a consensus that money was the root of all our football woes.
This week, I had wanted to contribute to the Public hearing on sports held by the Senate last week, only to be torpedoed by the sudden death of one of Nigeria’s greatest referees, Sunny Badru.
Without quoting instances in our country’s chequered football history, many believed that if what happened to Fabrice Muamba in White Hart Lane during an English Premiership match between Tottenham Hotspurs and Bolton Wanderers was to be in Nigeria, then the young man would have died.
Immediately after the meeting of the FIFA –CAF Consultative Committee last week in Lagos, I travelled out denying myself the full benefits of the reactions that followed our determination to step in and stem some of the anomalies rocking Nigeria’s football.
This week I was expected to go back to the just concluded Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Onochie Anibeze and Tony Ubani, Group Sports Editor and Sports Editor of the Vanguard respectively accepted my apology for not being able to write during the Nations Cup.
Different strokes for different folks.The NLC tried to make us believe that going on strike was the best way of making the government to restore the fuel subsidy. I believed them.
Last week end, the Nigeria Premier League for the 2012/2013 season kicked off, albeit unexpectedly.
While exchanging compliments of the season with the General Secretary of the NFF we thought it wise to pray for a year that should make us forget the night mare that was 2011. That is why one of my favorite wishes for the new year came from my friend Ibn Mohammed, who prayed for positive inputs from all of us, towards the betterment of our sports especially football in the coming year.