By Chibuogwu Nnadiegbulam
No. I could not afford to wake up late again. So I set my alarm at four different times just in case I turn off any in my sleepy state.
Sonja had sounded it like an alarm yesterday that we would have FIFA TV come film our session today, and so we should look our best, try not to look tired and be punctual.
It was D-day in Group C too and I had a video report to do as well
Our new mentor Martin had his first class today and his topic was "a few notes on... writing". According to him, "write football? Think football," meaning the process of writing about the beautiful game is about the same way the game is played.
Training, fitness, strategy, tactics and creativity all needs to be employed in writing to produce an article.
His first session was from 10-11am after which we had a coffee break, during which FIFA TV set up their equipment for filming. By the time we resumed, we were on record. This was to be for an hour while Martin continued his class. The camera man moved from one end to the other getting good shots.
We were made to understand that the filming would continue for the rest of the day. The cameramen would join those going to the Amman International Stadium of which I was one, but since we were leaving at 2, they decided to join those leaving for Irbid at 12:30 to capture the bus moment.
Meanwhile they had an interview with Keir at the hotel and from where I sat I watched closely.
At the Amman International Stadium, I was feeling a bit tensed ahead of the first part of my stand up. I had written my script and needed to memorize it and one thing with the recording is that any mistake you make, you start all over.
My script was quite long. I think the last time I had to memorise something like that was for bible recital. So, I had like 4 tries before getting it right.
Almost immediately after we sat in the media tribune of the stadium, it was time for the North Korean Anthem, then Nigeria's. As soon as the game started, FIFA TV continued their filming of the AIPS Young Reporters at work.
Heba and I sat together. Then she told me she was also supporting Nigeria. I thought out loud, that maybe the white jersey will give some luck since they had worn green in their previous two games, but I thought wrong.
In spite of the early threats Nigeria posed on their North Korean counterparts, they were beaten 3-0.
I felt sadder about the score line than I did about them being knocked. It just baffled me how they could not get the ball into the back of the net at least once in three matches.
I told you I was at one of their training sessions where by virtue of a barbed wire I was able to watch all of it. They practised shots from outside the box but even at that they could only manage one goal.
Anyway, we went for the press conference afterwards, to ask lots of questions, remember, FIFA TV was still filming. And I believe if coach Bala Nikyu had his way, he probably wouldn't have come at all for the press conference because he seemed obviously uncomfortable responding to questions.
He refused to blame the loss on anything that has to do with tactics or technique, and rather said in football, there must be a winner and a loser.
Filming ended after the Nigeria and North Korea Press Conference after which I did the concluding part of my video report about Group C.
We went to see the game between Japan and USA with USA having all to play for.
However, in spite of the good start, they capitulated and the Japanese were not willing to do them any favours. USA got knocked out, leaving our dear Jillian heartbroken while In Irbid, Ghana beat Paraguay to progress, to the delight of Christine.
We Came back had dinner and I tried to write. But slept off watching 'Valentine's Day'