By John Egbokhan, Kumasi
A day after his players were pelted with water bottles by Ghanaian fans during their training session at the Baba Yara Sports Complex, national under-23 coach Augustine Eguavoen was weekend night subjected to verbal abuse from some Nigerian fans, seething with rage over the team’s 2-0 loss to Ghana in an All Africa Games qualifier.
Some of the aggrieved fans who besieged the Sports Hotel abode of the Olympic team shortly after their poor showing against the Black Meteors, who upturned a 2-0 first leg deficit with two goals in either half of the match, confronted Eguavoen with verbal insults and almost went physical but for the intervention of security operatives who were around the scene.
The fans said that it was Eguavoen’s defensive formation that caused Nigeria ’s loss while others wondered why he opted to field below-average players for such a crucial game against Ghana, considered to be Nigeria ’s eternal rivals in West Africa.
They furthered questioned Eguavoen’s technical competence, stating that Nigeria would have done better without him at the helm of affairs of the under-23 set-up.
“You are a bad coach, you do not know your work. How could you be defending against Ghana when you were aware that the best form of defence is attack. You are not fit to coach our team”, said Ifeanyi Izuchukwu, who appeared to be the leader of the raging Nigerian fans here in Kumasi .
Another incensed fan, Suleiman Kazeem, said that what made the defeat even more painful for them to swallow was that it was Ghana that we lost to, a point which he stressed should not have been lost to Eguavoen.
“This man (Eguavoen) appears not to know that we are not supposed to lose without a fight to Ghana.
It was even worse that we did not just play well at all and that is the fault of the coach”.
One fan who rained the heaviest insults to Eguavoen, and was at a point almost going for his skin, told the Nigeria Football Federation to do away with the coach for the good of the team.
“If he cannot take us to the All Africa Games, I do not see him qualifying us for the Olympics.. They should take him out”, he said. But in the face of these frontal insults, Eguavoen maintained his composure, and went back into the hotel.