In the aftermath of yesterday’s disappointing loss to Raja Casablanca, there is a fairly simple question: did even the management of Enyimba believe they could win the CAF Confederation Cup?
If they did, they certainly have not acted like it in the past two to three weeks.
For what it’s worth, I’ll say it: creating a group stage for the Federation Cup and making teams play every day is easily one of the stupidest decisions in the history of Nigerian football. This is without even looking at Enyimba, the country’s sole flagbearer on the continent, being involved in that mess.
Yet, the decision was made.
Perhaps we have been spoilt by having our league matches canceled so we could play in the previous rounds of the CAFCC (another bit of silliness which worked in our favour). So we forgot that the red carpet will not always be rolled out for us. We forgot that, when faced with adversity, you find a way around that mess.
I mean, our club administration always boasts about their experience and longevity. Yet, they could take no steps to manage a bad situation.
So we go back to the question at the start: did Enyimba really want to win the CAFCC? I say no. Why, you ask? Because it was obvious to me, and should have been to anyone at the club, that if they were serious about the CAFCC, they should have totally forfeited the Federation Cup.
The moment the format of that competition was released, Enyimba should have sent a shadow squad to Gombe, and kept the “actual” squad fresh back in Aba. They were not helpless at all. The club registered close to 40 players this term.
So, as a friend of mine once said, “if we dey cry, make we dey see road”. If we had wanted to put ourselves in the best position to progress, we would have done what was needful.
I am firmly in the camp of personal accountability and responsibility: do all that is in your power first, before pointing fingers. The NFF goofed, but we refused to do the sensible thing, and so we are just as guilty (if not more) as they are.
Where some would have seen a way out of that mess, we saw a ready-made excuse – our own people sabotaged us – and we ran into it.