Home SPORTS GIST Football IS NIGERIAN FOOTBALL SAFE AFTER AHMED MUSA’S CENTURY DENIAL – LET’S TAKE A STEP BACK

IS NIGERIAN FOOTBALL SAFE AFTER AHMED MUSA’S CENTURY DENIAL – LET’S TAKE A STEP BACK

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A piece by Farouq Oduola A.

Denial of a Century

According to the Nigerian football administrators, Super Eagles captain; Ahmed Musa earned his 100th international cap for his country during Nigeria’s world cup qualifying match against Cape Verde, generating widespread joy and congratulation. Only Joseph Yobo and Vincent Enyeama in Nigeria have accomplished this.

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However, about 24 hours after the celebration, FIFA’s ruling came along and begged to differ, claiming that the striker needs two more games to reach the century mark, thus spoiling the fun and celebration and leaving everyone with a slew of concern – yet again, such as – what in God’s name is going on?

FIFA’s Word Against That of the NFF

When the NFF claimed that Ahmed Musa has earned his 100th international cap, FIFA’s record showed something completely different – a difference of two games.

A huge two games! Wow! How could we have missed that?

Musa’s appearance in the 3-0 defeat of Togo in a friendly match in Paris in June 2017 was struck off because both Nigeria and Togo made more than the regular number of changes in the game, according to FIFA.

Also, the 1-1 draw in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Algeria in Constantine in November 2017 was also struck off because Nigeria fielded an ineligible player and Algeria was awarded the game.

Should We Be Concerned?

While the NFF may claim that the two games’ disapproval does not indicate a data-recording glitch, perhaps we should be more concerned about the administration of Nigerian sports and be more specific – Nigerian football administration, as these two incidents are far from the only ones, and there have been far more glitches than we can count over the years.

More Cracks Than You Can Count.

3SC’S FORGOTTEN LICENSE AFRICAN CHAMPIONS CUP COMPETITION VS TP MAZEMBE 1980

Shooting Stars Sports Club, which was representing Nigeria at the African Champions Cup competition in 1980, was to play TP Mazembe of DR Congo in the second leg of their semi-final round at their Ibadan home after losing 1-2 in the first leg at the visitors’ home the week before.

The match was delayed for three hours because the home team was unable to present the players’ CAF licenses since the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) had forgotten the documents in Lagos. Each member of the Nigerian team had to pose with the center referee for a photograph. The Shooting Stars lost the match on penalties shootout after the match ended 2-1.

3SC’S LATE DISCOVERY OF INELIGIBLE PLAYER IN 1984 FINAL

After losing 2-0 in the first leg in November of 1984, 3SC, who was representing Nigeria in the African Champions Cup, was scheduled to play Zamalek in the second leg in December.

However, they were rendered powerless after finding on match day that their star player, Felix Owolabi, was ineligible to play, resulting in a 1-0 loss and a 3-0 aggregate loss.

SEOUL OLYMPICS, 1998 DATA MIX-UP

Nigeria muddled up the ages of three players – Samson Siasia, Andrew Uwe, and Dahiru Sadi – in FIFA’s data in the Under-20 competition in Russia and the ages they had on their passports in the men’s football tournament in Seoul Olympics in 1988.

As a result, FIFA imposed a two-year ban on Nigeria participating in age-grade competitions, preventing us from hosting an under-age competition in 1991.

THE FORGOTTEN NIGERIAN JERSEYS VS BURKINA FASO, 1991

Nigeria needed to beat Burkina Faso in 1991 in order to qualify for the AFCON, which would be hosted by Senegal the following year. The late Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, as Chief of General Staff at the time, was the special guest of honour at the National Stadium in Lagos’ main bowl.

Because the official for one reason or the other left the jerseys at the team’s camp at Obasanjo Farms, Otta; the Super Eagles arrived in makeshift pants after a two-hour delay. For the match to go on, the players’ tracks had to be severed with scissors. Despite the fact that Nigeria triumphed 7-1, the then-Sports Minister, Major General Yohanna Kure, took a severe line against the football federation, dissolving the board.

DATA MIX-UP AND DISQUALIFICATION OF SEVEN GOLDEN EGLETS MEMBERS, 1995

The NFA official in charge of creating the final list that was to be sent to CAF for the African Under-17 Tournament hosted by Mali in 1995, messed up the process by making several typographical errors. Players whose passport ages did not match those on the list were eliminated from the competition.

As a result of this, seven crucial members of the squad were disqualified for being over-aged, and Nigeria was unable to progress beyond the group stage of the competition.

PASSPORTS FOR THE AFRICAN QUALIFIER AGAINST REPUBLIC OF BENIN FORGOTTEN

The Golden Eaglets were scheduled to play Benin in Ibadan, Oyo State, however it was realized an hour before the game that NFA officials had forgotten the players’ international passports in Lagos.

Despite the fact that the then-Oyo State Military Administrator, Chinyere Ike Nwosu, ordered immediate retrieval of the documents from Lagos, the match was called off because the Beninois, who were aware of the implications of the incident, refused to play, resulting in the disqualification of both teams.

TRANSFER MISTAKE ALMOST COST ENYIMBA TO AFRICAN CHAMPIONS CUP IN 2003

The Nigerian representatives defeated Egypt’s Ismail FC 2-1 on aggregate in the 2003 African Champions Cup final, but news broke a few weeks later that the Egyptian club had filed a protest against the Nigerian club for fielding second half substitute Yaro Yaro, who had not been properly transferred from Kano Pillars the previous season. However, CAF ignored the complaint in order to avoid bad publicity for its top African club championship.

MISINTERPRETATION OF HEAD-TO-HEAD RULE IN 2006 WORLD CUP QUALIFIER

The inability of then-NFA officials to understand the head-to-head criteria governing the 2006 World Cup qualification competition in Germany jeopardized the Super Eagles their place in the tournament, as well as Ibrahim Galadima’s attempt for a second term as NFA chairman.

Considering Nigeria was ahead on goal difference, the old NFA administration believed that a draw against Angola in Kano would be enough to secure the team’s 2006 World Cup qualifying in Germany. Angola qualified for the World Cup as a result of Nigeria’s mistake.

                                Something To Ponder Upon?

There are more of these than we can count both in the national and club level; these few examples are just provided to draw our attention to a persistent flaw in the country’s football administration. This implies that there is a recurring problem in the system about which we appear nonchalant, but does this mean we should be concerned about the game’s future in Nigeria?

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