By Patrick Omorodion

Former Gombe State Football Association Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Gara Gombe has said that he is optimistic the Eagles will carry the day when they confront the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia at the Abuja National Stadium.

His optimism notwithstanding, the football critic said he has three fears which he said might work against the Shaibu Amodu-tutored side in the match that will determine whether Nigeria’s flag will be hoisted among 31 others during the World Cup coming to Africa for the first time in 80 years.
According to him “ I fear that the Eagles will play under pressure because of the expectation of Nigerians as well as the huge money raised for their qualification by the Presidential Task Force. The entire world would be looking out to see how the match would go, (as) they will think the money is for something unusual.

Another fear Alhaji Gara Gombe has is the readiness of the team for the crucial match especially as they did not play any friendly match to gauge the fitness level of the players because “if they play without a pattern, cohesion or purpose, then there will be trouble as fans may become hostile when the goals don’t come early.”
He said the Tunisians will frustrate the Eagles by “feigning injuries and making the Eagles not to play well. In Tunis they played us with respect but in Abuja they won’t do that, they will play for a draw or win.”

He advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials not think about the money they will make but ensure crowd control and safety of the fans, adding that “It was by the grace of God that nothing happened when we played Kenya .”

He advised the NFF not to “do anything silly, like talking to the match officials as it would be counter productive as all eyes are on Nigeria.”
Concluding, Alhaji Gara Gombe said “if we beat Tunisia, one would say thank God, if not it will be a disaster. If we draw the match then it is a calamity.”

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