Let’s Bury The hatchet, Swallow Our Pride And Support Finidi For The Sake Of Nigeria Football And The NFF

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It came as a rude shock to many, especially those championing the cause for a foreign coach or those who solidly believed in the other Ex-international, Emmanuel Amunike. These men had their reasons to preach otherwise, and it is not an offence to do so.

In every contest, there must be a winner. Finidi has won this time around, not because he is best qualified or best equipped, rather, his employers must have considered several other factors in arriving at this decision.

It is five weeks to Nigeria’s all-important World Cup Qualifiers with South Africa and the Benin Republic and the responsibility of picking maximum points against these teams has now fallen on the shoulders of the current chief coach of Enyimba FC of Aba, who as interim coach, started on a fair note, defeating the Black Stars of Ghana by 2-1 only to lose by 2-0 to the Eagles of Mali.

Both were friendly games to prepare him for the big task ahead of him and he didn’t disappoint, considering the circumstances and the little time he had to prepare his team for both matches.

The other good thing is that, as assistant to Jose Peseiro, Finidi has tasted the qualifiers, he understands what mistakes were made in the first two games and will now work towards correcting same, to achieve the ultimate goal of qualifying for the World Cup.

Secondly, he was part of Nigeria’s success story at the 2023 Nations Cup in Coted’Ivoire, where the Super Eagles won Silver after losing to the host nation in the finals. The journey to that AFCON finals coupled with the experience garnered from the two friendly games in March, should be enough incentives to propel the new technical crew to achieve success in the 2026 World Cup qualifying games.

This perhaps explains why the NFF Technical Committee and the Executive Committee chose the former Ajax of Amsterdam winger ahead of other local coaches for the plum job.

That said, the time is too short to continue the debate as to who is better amongst the applicants who initially signified their interest for the job, rather, all hands must be on deck for the success of this team.

Over the years, Nigeria football under the leadership of the NFF, has had to battle with too many negativities. Enemies of the federation from within and outside have conspired to spread negative energy among media men, football fans and administrators. We have seen men gather in shrines and other spiritual hideouts to wish the Super Eagles ill luck, we have seen men bury cows alive just to see the Eagles fail.

These same men have started rehearsing new strategies to fight back as the buildup to another World Cup gathers momentum. Some are not happy that they are not being carried along in the scheme of things while a few others felt let down by decisions from the board.

However, amid these negativities and animosity, there is a silent voice in the wilderness that will always plead for caution and common sense. That sane warrior is the writer of this message who despite his disappointments, has chosen to bury the hatchet and let peace reign. For him, any interest that is detrimental to the progress of Nigeria football is not welcomed.

As a people, we must all unite for our common goal. We have every right as individuals to harbor differences but there must be a point for reconciliation. We must drop our egos, swallow our pride, and learn to accept defeat where and when necessary for peace to reign.

In doing so, I have surrendered to the ‘Finidi Must Succeed Slogan’ all for the good of Nigeria football. All I can do going forward is to appeal to all aggrieved Nigerians who find themselves in the same shoe, to step out of the shoe, put your right hand on your chest, take a deep breath and submit yourself to our common goal.

Qualification for the 2026 World Cup is our common goal. The NFF, like all of us fans of the Super Eagles, want the very best for this country, let’s unite to make this a reality.

May God Help Nigeria Football actualize this lofty dream amen

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