As Nigeria Beat Japan against All Odds: What Are the Implications?

Nigerian Olympic team celebrating with their coach Samson Siasia
Nigerian Olympic team celebrating with their coach Samson Siasia

As Nigeria Beat Japan against All Odds: What Are the Implications? 

By Azuka Onwuka

The Nigerian football Olympic team (Dream Team VI) beat Japan 5 goals to 4 in spite of their late arrival in Brazil, with Oghenekaro Etebo scoring 4 of the 5 goals. It exemplifies the Nigerian spirit: a spirit that never succumbs to challenges.

The team arrived Manaus, Brazil few hours before their opening match. They had no time to practise or even rest. Yet they beat Japan.

The bad side of this is that because we continue to survive and excel in spite of all odds, our political class continues to take us for granted and continues to wallow in mediocrity. And once we survive after each act of embarrassment from our leaders, we forget the action and move on. Nobody is punished for the laxity. No lesson is learnt. It becomes just a matter of time before such recurs.

Members of our Under 17 team (the Golden Eaglets) cut grass in camp, had only one set of jerseys during the competition and lacked basic things. Yet they won the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. We celebrated. The President, sports minister and NFF chairman took the glory. There was no enquiry into why the team lacked basic things while in camp and at the competition.

The can-do spirit of citizens can achieve great results for the nation now and then, but no nation excels among the comity of nations through luck and “wobbling and fumbling.”

Congratulations to Dream Team VI.

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