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Super Eagles, NFF And Choice Of Venue For 2021 AFCON Qualifier

Super Eagles, NFF And Choice Of Venue For 2021 AFCON Qualifier

The recent choice of venue for the Super Eagles’ 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Lesotho in Nigeria may have raised some question marks on the politicization of the nation’s football ahead of maintaining a winning home ground for the team.

Last week Friday, the Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Sola Aiyepeku together with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) First Vice President Seyi Akinwumi led the Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr to the Teslim Balogun Stadium for an on-the-spot assessment ahead of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match.

Aiyepeku reiterated that the pitch will be match-ready before the game next month.

“I am really happy that the Super Eagles Coach, who came for an on-the-spot assessment of the stadium to evaluate the level of our readiness was satisfied with what he saw at the Teslim Balogun Stadium”.

“I assure the Eagles Coach that the Teslim Balogun Stadium is a viable option for Nigeria’s home match against Lesotho. We have re-grown the grass in the last 15 months and a lot of work is in progress to ensure that the pitch is match-ready”, he added.

There is no doubt that hosting the match in Lagos will be a huge one for Lagos and the team considering the massive support they usually derive from Lagosians when matches are played at the Main Bowl of the National Stadium, Surulere.

The argument being forwarded by officials at The Glasshouse is that Lagos would be the best option for Lesotho, to save costs and due to logistics issues, especially as the Lagos State government is willing to foot the bills.

Again, if it eventually sees the light of the day, this will be the first time in a decade the Super Eagles have played any game in Lagos with their last against Sierra Leone ending 2-1 in favour of the hosts in 2011.

However, this may not be the best time for the NFF to accept the juicy offer of the team playing at the Teslim Balogun Stadium knowing fully that the players are not familiar with the turf. A further slip could cost the team a place in Cameroon.

Besides, it would have been an ideal venue if the team had already booked a place for the tournament when less pressure will be on the players. But at this stage, the venue should be a no-go area for the team if Nigeria must qualify for AFCON.

Super Eagles stars would rather play next month’s AFCON qualifier against Lesotho in Uyo and not make a long-awaited return to Lagos. Rohr also stated that the players would have preferred the game was played at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, where they have played most of the home games for the past four years.

“The second game, we will do it in Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos,” Rohr told ESPN.

“We know that this is a very special occasion with the pandemic, and we cannot have the usual [venue in] Uyo.

“But my players they like Uyo because of the facilities, because of the stadium.”

By and large, NFF must prioritize the ambition of the team and not the financial prize that comes with it when the State Government decides to show interest in hosting games. They should learn from the mistakes of the past in order not to jeopardize the team’s qualification ticket.

 

By Augustine Akhilomen

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • Ako Amadi 1 week ago

    The matter is simple. Has the Federal Government given the go-ahead for crowds to watch football matches at the Teslim Balogun Stadium?

     
  • Oakfield 7 days ago

    It baffles me how such an important matter would be played with. How can people in their right senses play with such a delicate matter all bcs of personal gains at the detriment of the progress of our national team. Okay, bcs of financial and logistic constraints, you people have decided to play politics with another crucial game just like you did with the sierra leon game abi??? Just a few days ago, the block headed fool called omo9ja was here blabbing like a goat lost in sambisa forest about the need the game should be played in Lagos, citing some funny reasons whilst ignoring the reality on the ground all bcs of tribalism and his innate hatred for rohr. Now, the truth is out in the open and each and everyone of them don dy jump and pass like springboks in heat. Those who sabi speak queens English that eagles can’t afford to miss next years afcon are no where to be found. This is not the time to experiment. We still have loads of friendly matches to be played which can be used to gradually return the eagles to their former fortress but not with such a match of such magnitude!! I’d advise rohr to outrightly reject the imposition of match venues on him just like westerhorf did bcs if things go wrong, he’d be left in the cold and be used as a scape goat by same people who set him up.

     
    • Omo9ja 7 days ago

      Whenever I use this my mouth to talk wella for you Nigerians most especially Oga Rohr deciples, listen attentively to my advice.

      You all may not like me the way I’m telling you Nigerians the truth but not everyone will like me for fighting the battle with NFF and Oga Rohr for misusing our resources.

      Not long ago I said Lagos is the best venue for this match.

      Instead you Oakfield and his company to asked me why but they were making fun of themselves. But today, NFF have chosen my idea and they opted for Lagos, the former home of our darling Super Eagles.

      This shows that you guys still have many things to learn in terms of football.

      NFF did well for taking the match to Lagos because a lot of opportunities has been given to Oga and his troops but they misused the opportunities and now, the truth has come. No room for errors.

      However, NFF have realized that Oga Rohr and his team will put more effort in Lagos than in Uyo.

      This is not about tribalism my people but it’s all about result.

      Eagles went to free town to play on that bad and unfamiliar pitch and they played their hearts out, we saw anger, determination and winning spirit in Eagles but why we didn’t see that same spirit before the second leg?

      Therefore, the main bowl of the Teslim Balogun stadium will be 100% ready for the encounter. So, what else do Oga Rohr and his team and including his fans want?

      Excuses as usual bla bla bla ba? No more. We are tired of that period.

      Listen to me young man, you see Oakfield, majority of you are emotional and hate the truth but look young man, if you truly want to see Nigeria in Cameroon in next Afcon, you and your type have no choice but to support the move.

      It’s make sense to play the match in Uyo but the seriousness of the entire team won’t be there because NFF knew the capacity of our coaches and Oga Rohr and Mr. Agu should be careful otherwise, both of coaches may be fired before the championship in Cameroon.

      This is why NFF decided to play the match in Lagos.

      Even if the match against Leone star were taken place in Uyo, nothing would changed the result because of the inputs of the technical crew wasn’t enough to conquered the threats of the Leone Stars team.

      Oakfield, Dr.Drey and Oga Rohr Nigeria limited, hmm, you people still very young in this game called football.

      I don’t know it all like Dr.Drey and co but the little I know, I will try my best to take Nigeria and Nigerians to the greater heights by God’s grace. Amen. For this reason, welcome home Super Eagles. God bless Nigeria!!!

       
      • Oga, your write up is always irritating, it will be better if you stop commenting on this forum, because I always struggle to make any sense out of your comment.

        This is not a comic website, so stop seeking for unnecessary attention, go and create a blog and start writing your nonsense there, people like you will follow you.

         
      • UBFE 7 days ago

        @omo9ja.

        To comment on CSN forum isn’t a do-or-die affair….

        Why can’t u respect your age and stay put instead of coming here to spew rubbish….

        Do u even understand what u are typing at all?

        I’ve been struggling to manage the comical thrash u hav been posting, but todays own is a pure shit….

        All your reasons are just vague….

        I repeat; “respect your age and stop disgracing your generation on csn forum”…..

        :::::::SHALOM:::::::

         
  • Dr Drey 7 days ago

    Orisirisi……so in your own mind now….the NFF is taking the match to Lagos in order to avoid not qualifying for 2021 AFCON…..LMAOooooo. You really get sense…..LMAO. Infact your sense is overflowing.
    Let me remind you that we qualified for 2002 WC outside Lagos (after our home games were moved away from Lagos when our qualification was hanging in a balance after we found ourselves in 3rd position in our WCQ group). We qualified for 2010 WC outside Lagos. We qualified for 2014 WC outside Lagos…..we qualified for 2018 WC UNBEATEN (with 3 African giants in the group with us) in Uyo (outside Lagos)….We qualified for 2019 AFCON in Uyo (outside lagos), We are currently sitting on top of our group, with 1 leg already in cameroon, playing outside Lagos. Whatever the ogogoro you drank is telling you is obviously nonsensical for you to think the NFF is taking the match to Lagos ‘in order to make the SE serious’ and not miss AFCON qualification….LMAO

    Omo9ja…wake up….you are not daft…you have small sense. Wake up and start being sensible. No1 It is not your African Gaudiolas coaching the SE at the moment. Its the same dumb Belmadi’s boy who is just a PHE teacher with rigid defensive tactics (Rohr), who qualifies for tournaments with games in hand and is set to do so again this time around, that is in charge of the SE.

    No 2 In whatever stadium that match is played in Lagos, there will be next to zero fans in the stadium….how on earth you think that will make the SE “more serious” is very very laughable. Stop talking just for talking sake…..learn to think b4 you talk.

    No 3. This article is not actually supporting your stance, it is on the contrary giving NFF flacks for moving the SE around like fulani herdsmen, and turning the hosting of the SE matches to a business for the highest bidder…….”….However, this may not be the best time for the NFF to accept the juicy offer of the team playing at the Teslim Balogun Stadium knowing fully that the players are not familiar with the turf. A further slip could cost the team a place in Cameroon………Besides, it would have been an ideal venue if the team had already booked a place for the tournament when less pressure will be on the players. But at this stage, the venue should be a no-go area for the team if Nigeria must qualify for AFCON……..By and large, NFF must prioritize the ambition of the team and not the financial prize that comes with it when the State Government decides to show interest in hosting games. They should learn from the mistakes of the past in order not to jeopardize the team’s qualification ticket….”

    Omo9ja…..wake up and stop deceiving yourself. Whether you like it or not. We are already in Cameroon. It is not your suggestion or the decision of the NFF to go play Lesotho in an empty stadium in Lagos that will make us qualify. Infact we are qualifying in Benin republic b4 we come to back home to celebrate against Lesotho. If you like pray till tomorrow for us not to qualify so that you can call for Rohr’s sack…..God has been defeating you and your gang of haters for years now and will continue to do so.