2023 AFCON Qualifier: How Super Eagles Trained In Darkness For Two Days In Abuja
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By Amaechi Agbo
The Super Eagles of Nigeria will on Friday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja by 5pm, take on Guinea Bissau in a matchday 3 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON qualifier.
A total of 22 players, out of the invited 23 are currently training in in stadium, they have observed two sessions of training on Monday and Tuesday. However, those trainings are not without unwanted, disgraceful reports.
First, the team began their training session on Monday by 5pm but they could not finish their activities as the generating set at the stadium went off in the night forcing the players and coaches to abandon their evening sessions.
They returned to the pitch again on Tuesday at the same time, but the worst happened with the stadium light.
Best Choice Sports gathered that the Tuesday training scheduled for 5pm commenced at 6 o’clock, instead. But at about forty-five minutes past the hour, again, there was another power outage.
The players and officials were forced, once more, to observe their training schedules with their phone torch light as alternative source of energy.
Is Ministry of Sports Sabotaging the team’s training?
Fingers are pointing to the Minister of youth and sports, Sunday Dare who many believe, his ministry, is sabotaging the team’s training.
Those who espouse this line of thought believe that the ministry under Mr Dare is not proactive enough to stop the nation ignominy that has overshadowed the team’s AFCON preparations.
While the team trained in total darkness for 45 minutes or thereabout, the Special Assistant to the Minister, Mr Kola Daniel was with the team all through the darkness, and offered no remedy.
Also, the Technical Director, Nigeria Football Federation, Augustine Eguavoen was also present during the blackout.
Although the actual cause of the blackout for the past two days cannot be ascertained at press time, our correspondent gathered that the stadium management did not store enough dissel to power the generating set for a long period of time.
Stadium Electricity Cables At Stadium Vandalised – Sports Ministry
The ministry of sports has denied any wrongdoing in Super Eagles Tuesday training in the dark.
Media aide to the Minister, Kola Daniel, explained that the no-light situation in the stadium was due to the “vandalization of the electricity cable” feeding the stadium.
“We got reports that some hoodlums vandalized the cables supplying light into the stadium complex on Monday. That is why darkness enveloped the main bowl forcing the Super Eagles to do the last few minutes of their training in the dark,” Daniel told Completesports
“Hopefully, this will not happen again as the officers responsible for the stadium facilities are working round the clock to restore electricity to the complex. We shall also ensure that the generator powering the main bowl functions all through tomorrow for the AFCON qualifying match and Super Eagles training.”
Meanwhile, the development shocked the players who wondered why they should be subjected to such shame.
“It is very sad. I don’t know why the country’s national stadium should be in darkness. What about the generator? I hope it doesn’t happen again. It’s a national embarrassment, ” one of the players said on the phone.
Stakeholders Worried …
Stakeholders are worried that should this maleficency and nonchalant disposition by the sports ministry not nipped in the bud, it could jeopardize the Super Eagles 2023 AFCON qualification chances as the team will face Guinea Bissau on Friday with the flood light expected to be used during the match as kickoff is by 5pm.
Nigeria currently leads Group A with 6 points from two matches. They are closely matched by their Friday’s opponents who are second with 4 points.