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Times have indeed changed! I got home early yesterday; just in time for the anticipated friendly encounter between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Red Devils of Congo. Barely 10 minutes into the game, I had a premonition that I was in for a very long 90-minute game.
I, like many Nigerians, was disappointed by the match and the result but this is a wake-up call to the reality that the Super Eagles is not that force it used to be. Years back we used to predict the outcome of matches like this ending 3-0 in favour of the Super Eagles.
We have gradually witnessed a decline in our football since the sacking of Steven Okechukwu Keshi and the appointment of the radically minded Sunday Oliseh.
As if that was not enough, there was news of a rift between the coach and Vincent Enyeama who got stripped of the handband of the National team amidst the burial ceremonies for his deceased mother. This alone can be chaotic for the English national team or even the most organised football teams in the world. Unfortunately all this is happening to our football right now.
But there is hope. There is a saying in Igbo that “Something good always comes out from a rough patch” so let us assume this is our own share of challenges before the CAF qualifiers begin and subsequently the next World Cup qualifier match.
The Super Eagles must rise again; we must have our best players available for every match, crush aside minnows without mercy, fight and conquer mediocrity and be the winners that we are. The days when teams come to play against us knowing they have lost even before a kick of the ball will be back.

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This article was first published on 9th October 2015


Martins Okafor is a Sports Writer for Connect Nigeria. He has been a sport buff for years, following stories and development in leagues and international competitions. His interest led him to writing stories – reporting on sporting events. He has superior interest in soccer, but knows much about other sports. He plans to have a blog and to advance in sport journalism. You can email him at: obimartins85 [at]

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