X-raying the meaningless Niger friendly match

By Nduka Orjinmo

And so football makes a return, after the three week break in which London became the centre piece of attraction.

I’m not talking about the scrapped walls of Stamford Bridge or the perpetual circus that is the Arsenal transfer window, but three weeks of so called Universality, where the only football headlines were Brazil’s search for an Olympic football Gold and Ocean’s Boys being forced to continue with the Nigerian league.

So for three weeks, we had to endure shooting, fencing, canoeing and trampoline, so we are not termed egoist and sufferable snobs of the beautiful game. We had to even endure all the grappling that is Grecko-Roman wrestling.

And what a way to welcome back our addiction called the beautiful game, a needless FIFA date on the football calendar with the major leagues in the world just three days away from kick off.

On a day when eyes should be fixated on the Nigerian Premier League with the penultimate round of matches throwing up the biggest game of the season in Makurdi, Keshi and his troupe crossed into Niamey for a hurriedly assembled friendly match so as to look relevant in the football circle.

The argument for the Niger friendly is that the qualifying match against Liberia is only a few weeks away and it is necessary to get the boys tuned-up for that one.

If this claim is true, then we should therefore expect an all home-based affair when the party travels to Liberia.

I doubt if any foreign based player-excluding those playing in Barbados and Chinese Taipei-would have made it to this match were they invited.

Truth be told, not even a Raheem Lawal would have turned up for this one.

And this makes me to question the direction of Stephen Keshi with just a few months to the Africa Nations Cup.

Most likely we will get past Liberia; most likely we will qualify for the Nations Cup in S/Africa. Then questions will be asked, about our best players abroad who have been left out of the equation during the qualifiers.

Reason will be heeded, and they will be invited to camp, most likely to make the team to the Nations Cup. After all, they are our best players and the Nations Cup is for only the best.

So why waste our time, with a needless friendly with the home-based lads in Niger when the NPL is set for an orgasmic end. Why fry the NPL’s best in the scorching desert sun all in the name of a needless friendly.


The Chairman of the NFF technical committee must have thought himself efficient and highly on point, when he informed us that the Super Eagles will prosecute the matches in Monrovia against the Lone Stars of Liberia with specially made boots.

According to him, the astro-turf in Liberia means that suitable football shoes are worn to get the best from the players. How educating.

What about the shirts to be worn on match day? Would they have air-ducts on the sides? Will the shorts have windows for release of hot-air?

you can follow Nduka Orjinmo on twitter- @orjinmonduka

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