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“… Dem name na silly! And because of that, Nigeria go beat dem silly on that day! Ah- ah, ‘ol boy how you go talk so? Why I no go talk so?”… We were walking back from the cafeteria at work and this was the heated debate two of my colleagues were engaged in. It obviously had something to do with football considering how animated they were and though I tend to shy away from football debates especially as it concerns our national team, I couldn’t resist, my curiosity was piqued.

“…I beg, make una no vex na which people be ‘silly’? I asked. “Na the Guinea national team be that. You no see as their name be? Na so we go flog them silly on that day…” words spoken like a true Nigerian whose empty boasts were based on nothing but braggadocio. I chuckled to myself knowing better than to get myself het up and humorously quipped that if football was a verbal contest Nigeria for no get peer.

Well as events have shown, we didn’t need a prophet to tell us that the match would not be ‘favourable to Nigeria.” What did they do different? Frankly speaking, if you ask me, na who chop belle full na im de play ball. The national male team in particular and the local football industry in general as currently constituted is a waste of everyone’s time and money. Yeah… whatever, go ahead and bite me.

Nope, the Guineans were not so silly after all. What was really silly though is not that the Eagles lost; (at least you can’t accuse them of being inconsistent) but, their attempt to blame that loss on a prophecy. Abi how is one to interpret Osaze Odemwingie’s comment? “…but the prediction of Prophet T.B Joshua really affected us. We thought we could see him and see how he could overturn that negative prediction…” Surely this is not how the business of our football is conducted; and this must be Osaze’s personal opinion right? Certainly he can’t be speaking for the entire team. But alas it seems as if this is a way of life for them as he finishes that statement with, and I quote, “…but the officials came with another prophet who prayed for us and told us all was well.” So…what? Ya’ll went to bed and slept?

Rather than prepare themselves for victory through hard team work and practise, they occupy themselves with seeking out prophets and soothsayers. That explains two things – their inexplicable confidence even in the face of their consistent and blatant unpreparedness and why our national team has been on a losing streak! “I will bless the WORK of your hands,” sayeth the Lord.

As for Mr Siasia, he committed the cardinal sin by issuing an apology. Why is it that in Nigeria an apology rarely has the desired effect? (Although I totally agree that in this case he should have just spared us)The next time you’re in any kind of altercation take note. Even if the other person is at fault (even more so), offer an apology. Rather than douse the situation, it has the opposite effect.

The comments have been searing with people calling for everything from his testicles to his resignation. One comment in particular though, captures for me the essence of what’s wrong with our collective psyche. “…the way he handled matters concerning Osaze, Enyeama, the fine on Mikel and a host of other matters clearly shows that he is yet to understand how to strike a balance between disciplinary matters and strategic national interest.” Huh? What does that mean? That for the sake of ‘national interest,’ he should condone and allow indiscipline to reign? Wasn’t that how the Sunday Olisehs became demi-gods? And how did that particular story end?

And what’s all this talk about fielding ‘inexperienced players’ and a butterfly fingered goal keeper? This is our National team we are talking about here. The ‘crème de la crème’; anyone of those twenty-two men should be able to perform at peak condition at the drop of a hat… how else did they earn the right to don our national colours?

I beg make I hear word! Yeye! All of dem sleep put head for one direction. Next!

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