Olympic Eagles Tokyo 2020 Elimination: ‘Where Did The Rain Begin To Beat Us’ – Minister Worried
By Amaechi Agbo
The Minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare has made explicit the desire of the ministry to ensure the development of all sports in the country but expressed concerns that football has not been progressive, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
Expressing his views following the elimination of the Olympic Eagles from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic football qualifications in Egypt Friday, Mr Dare noted that it was high time Nigeria and stakeholders asked questions on how the “rain started beating us”
The Minister who called for a review of the performance of the team at the ongoing 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON in Egypt which also serves as qualifier for the 2020 Olympic football event, noted that government will take appropriate steps to improve football fortunes in the country.
The Olympic Eagles were bundled out of the 2020 Olympics race after the played a 0-0 draw against South Africa in Egypt. The result ensured the team did not progressed to the semifinals after collecting 4 points from three matches with a win, loss and draw performance.
“Nigeria’s game against S.A. which ended in a draw concentrates the mind. Time to take a look back and find out where the rain began to beat us. Like I said before, our football needs a return to the basics of grassroot football, pristine sports admin, sound technical coaching.
“Government will take appropriate steps and in a timely fashion to improve our football fortunes. Current outcomes offer the opportunity to review, restrategize and develope a long term plan for football development. We will dust up great ideas already abandoned and implement,” Mr Dare said on Twitter.
Olympic Eagles followed in the footsteps of Super Falcons to throw the nation into another national ignominy after both teams failed to qualify for the football event of the Olympic next year in Japan.
This is the second time in 8 years that the two teams failed at the same time to qualify for the Olympic football event after failing to qualify for London 2012.
Meanwhile Nigerians are divided on who should take responsibilities for the calamity that has engulfed Nigeria football.
While a section hings the blame on the doorsteps of Amaju Pinnick led Nigeria Football Federation, NFF for not doing the needful in sacking coach Imama Amapakabo after his earlier failures with CHAN Eagles in CHAN qualifiers and WAFU Nations Cup in Senegal, others put the blame squarely on Amapakabo for obvious lack of knowledge of the game.
Whatever side of the divide one may align, the reality is that there is a dangerous gloom hovering over Nigeria football.
Super Eagles are not insulated from the danger ahead as the team early hours of Saturday morning (2:30am today) departed Uyo for Lesotho ahead of Tomorrow’s 2021 AFCON qualifier. Many have questioned the rational of the NFF and team officials to travel to Lesotho less than 36 hours to the kick off of the match in Maseru, Lesotho.