I honestly don't know why I'm writing this. Maybe it's because my British friend of Sudanese descent had a go at me and my country or the Ghanaian pal on twitter throwing jibes at me and the NFF. Still, maybe it's because of the press release from the Nigeria Football Federation that tried to demonise 'us' as anti-system, or maybe it's just me answering a query by a 'boss'.
Enyimba International of Aba beat Warri Wolves in a penalty shootout to win the Federations Cup in a very entertaining match that actually caught the attention of a lot of critics of the local game. 'We' hyped it so much on social media that a lot of folks who wouldn't ordinarily tune their televisions to a Nigerian game actually did and had loads of fun.
|Enyimba celebrate their win. Pic- leadershipng.com|
I got calls from South Africa and Ghana praising the final game and saying Nigeria has a bright future in the game. Loads of others on twitter and facebook were also very happy to have seen such a spectacle. but that was where the whole 'joy' stopped.
Musa Najare, who was the leading scorer in the competition fr 2013 was denied his crown and instead it was given to Utibe Archibong of Akwa Starlets.
Prior to the final, my colleague at supersport.com, Ojeikere Aikhoje had done a run down of the top scorers and even predicted that any of Bobby Sokari or Musa Najare who were both on four goals and would later appear in the final might nick it.
|pic credit: goal.com|
Najare did score in the final, but unfortunately, the talented Archibong was awarded the crown. OJ, in a very professional manner contacted both players involved and went on to do a story about how Najare was denied the prize. Unfortunately, I wouldn't divulge what went on between the story going out on supersport.com and when the NFF sent out the release, but what i can say here is we are all working for the common good of Nigerian Football. Read Najare's reaction here 'Najare's reaction'
I felt slighted because we are all partners in progress, but the tone of the letter certainly painted 'us' as demons who see nothing good in the NFF. On the contrary, I actually have loads of respect for Aminu Maigari and his board. Demola Olajire and Mohammed Sani are like older brothers, and being a proper Irigwe boy, I won't disrespect any of them by saying how I feel on social media, but the release didn't do much to help matters at all.
Whoever is in charge, should do his/her work properly so that we don't become the laughing stock of Africa and fall victim of the recent failures of associations to keep records straight. Cape Verde easily comes to mind here. We don't want to go there.
Utibe Archibong, who is currently in Oman chasing a deal scored four goals as the stats below reveals...
From the NFF's statistics, Archibong scored his five goals thus:
. Akwa Starlet Vs Kwara United (Round of 64) – 2 goals
. Dolphins FC Vs Akwa Starlet (Round of 32) – 1 goal
. Akwa Starlet Vs Abia Warriors (Round of 16) – 1 goal
. Akwa Starlet Vs Lobi Stars (Quarterfinals) – 1 goal
The irony here is that the game which the NFF quoted Archibong to have scored in ( the round of 32 clash) finished goalless and Akwa Starlets won via a penalty shoot-out, Archibong scored in the shootout, but goals scored in a PK shootout count as legit goals?
Najare scored in the following matches:
Warri Wolves Vs Spotlite FC (Round of 32) – 1 goal
. Niger Tornadoes Vs Warri Wolves (Round of 16) – 1 goal
. Warri Wolves Vs Kano Pillars (Quarter finals) – 2 goals
. Warri Wolves Vs Enyimba FC (Final) - 1 goal
|Federations Cup trophy : pic credit -supers|
There are so many mistakes in the NFF's calculations and record keeping , I won't air it out here. (Who is Cyril Oboto by the way?).We are all in this together, we need to join hands together to move the game forward.
China Acheru has said a lot here http://www.naijafootball247.com/2013/09/what-are-they-smoking-at-nigeria_8099.html?spref=tw and nothing there can be further than the truth.
We need a change of attitude towards one another. Instead of attacking the issues, the NFF is attacking personalities. I have sent Demola Olajire a mail to this effect. I hope he replies me.
The records are there for all to see, call the two players and interview them, or better still liaise with 'people' that can make your job easier. But hey, 'wetin I sabi? and as we say in pidgin in Naija, 'na so we go dey dey?