By John Egbokhan
Chairman of the Nigeria Premier League, High Chief Oyuiki Obaseki has heaped curses on those calling for the slip up of Tunisia, who are currently entangled in a two-way horse race for the lone qualification ticket to play at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
But his view has been countered by a former Green Eagles stalwart, Sylvanus Okpalla.
Speaking last week during a visit to the corporate headquarters of Vanguard Media Limited in Lagos, Chief Obaseki said that it would be a travesty of justice for the Green Eagles, who he lambasted for their poor play and low drive, to beat a more organised Tunisian side, who have hungry and dedicated players, to the ticket to be part of the 32 teams, whose flags would be hoisted during the opening ceremony of footballâ€™s Mundial.
â€œWoe betide that person who is praying for Tunisia to slip up for us to get the ticket to play at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. I am saying this based on the performances of our players in their qualification matches, especially, the last one against Tunisia at the Abuja National Stadium.
â€œWe were all at the stadium on that day and saw the rubbish that our players exhibited, even when they knew the importance of that match to our qualification hopes. Those players do not deserve to be at the World Cup because they are not hungry enough.
â€œIt is no longer in our hands. The Tunisians have the advantage and, based on what they did in Abuja, I do not see them slipping up again. We can prayÂ but they are also praying and have justified every reason to be at the World Cupâ€, added a fuming Obaseki.
But offering a different view, a former Green Eagles stalwart, Sylvanus Okpalla, is still holding out hopes of a possible qualification of the Nigerian team.
â€œWe still have two matches to play and if we win those matches, and Tunisia slip up, which I think is very possible, then we can make it to the World Cup in South Africa.