Disappearing prospects

Monthly, when the FIFA rankings are released, everyone seems to have their views on the current placement of our dear country. I’ve always had my concerns about how they come about those figures. How England, a country that has never won any major tournament in over 40 years remain in the top ten. How Nigeria is behinds real counties in the Middle East and Asia in these rankings. I always thought those rankings are rubbish. 

But while they’ve always been rubbish in my accessment, I did have thought provoking thoughts when I saw a game at the weekend. I watched Atlanta United play hosts to Chicago Fire. The game ended in a 4-0 dubbing of the home side over their opponents. Atlanta United of course are coached by former Barcelona gaffer Tata. And it was easy to see his imprints in the team. 

I know many of you are wondering how this concerns Enyimba but I did get startled at the attendance for that game. The official figures had it at a little below 46,000. 46,000 fans at a League game in the MLS, a country where soccer is not even ranked as the most popular sport. That’s the equivalent of Kano Pillars fans at the Sani Abacha and Enyimba fans in Aba. The cheapest home ticket for Atlanta United is $25. That approximately N11,000. Eleven Thousand Naira. 

I remember an interview someone granted a few weeks ago. He said, the U.S has the facilities for soccer but not the talent. He said, the talents abound in places like Nigeria. Agreed but you cannot but think these guys are climbing the ladder pretty fast. A friendly game involving Real Madrid and Manchester United held in the U.S in the recent past. Attendace was 109,000. One hundred thousand people. Amazing. 

My point is, if we don’t have concrete plans to start planning of the future and building our football, we will wake up to the knowledge that we have been left behind. I saw a post where Mr Makaiba was quoted that he would drop coaching if stupid officiating doesn’t stop. He’s just one man but Abdu Makaiba is one of the best coaches in this country. 

Our teams, Rangers and Rivers United are now out of the Champions League. The people who benefitted from those trips- government officials and their buddies, I hope you’re all happy now. Let’s keep chasing the shadows. Let’s keep doing whatever it takes (lawful or unlawful) to win home games. Well done. 

It’s about time we held our administrators accountable. Men who are so blind that all they want is to line up money for themselves and their girlfriends. I remember a colleague telling me of how he couldn’t find a particular club’s jersey to buy. Few days he saw a younger girl wearing this jersey which according to her was given to her by boyfriend- the Chairman of XYZ Football club. 

Fans can’t find to buy, the club is losing money it could have gotten and put into something else. Wake up our dear administrators. It’s time to build a real and enviable legacy. I hope the folks involved are listening. 

Back tomorrow 



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