By Patrick Omorodion
Even as Nigerians nurse the hope of the Eagles picking the World Cup ticket ahead of rivals, Tunisia, football critic and former Chairman of the Gombe State Football Association, Alhaji Ahmed Shuaibu Gara-Gombe has said they donâ€™t deserve to be at the event.
Alhaji who spoke to Saturday Vanguard Sports shortly after the Eagles managed a 1-0 win over a more organised Mozambican side said that rather than go and disgrace the country and continent in South Africa, they should not go.
donâ€™t deserve to go to the World Cup. They have not showed any sign of a team that can do well at the World Cup. They have struggled all through the matches played so far,â€ he said.
The outspoken former football administrator said that against Mozambique in Maputo, the Eagles could have lost the game but for the referee who disallowed the good goals they scored while they also struggled against Kenya in Abuja last September despite winning 3-0.
â€œIn the match against Tunisia in Tunis, they had a good chance to win but they said they went there for a draw.
Here in Abuja they struggled to a 2-2cdraw while last Saturday they had to wait for the referee to add some time before they were able to score at the 93rd minute,â€ he said.
Alhaji Gara-Gombe argued that the country should use the period of the World Cup to re-organise and restructure the team as well as the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, adding that the football Board should throw in the towel now and not wait until after the World Cup or Nations Cup in Angola before quitting.
â€œWe should start re-building a new team that would be strong for the 2014 World Cup. This is the time to bring in a foreign coach or we should swallow our pride and bring in Clemens Westerhof to help us turn around the team like he did before,â€ he stressed.
He argued that those still hoping that the Eagles will qualify for the World Cup are â€œmerely doing so on individual interest as business men but personal interest should not override national interest.â€
â€œIf the Eagles qualify and go there to disgrace the country, it will count on the country and not the individuals. Personally Iâ€™ve invested about $50,000 in South Africa for this World Cup but I donâ€™t think the Eagles should go and disgrace the country,â€ he said.