Just Before Nigeria Battles Algeria In Uyo by Aderonke Bello

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has done well for himself since he took over the saddle – it has been a case of, so far, so good. The selection and performance of the Super Eagles players are yet to be faulted.

We seem to have a coordinated team with passion and pride to represent our beloved nation, a team with every likelihood, should qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and battle the world’s best for the trophy.

I have heard from different quarters by some Nigerians that critics or the perceived enemies of the NFF board are praying quietly for a failed Super Eagles, which was why I asked the question, where in lies our patriotism?

Admittedly, I am one of a very few ‘open’ but constructive critics of the NFF, borne out of my passion for football development in our country – my loyalty lies with Nigerians, Nigeria football development enthusiasts, not the administrators, mindful of the fact that baton changes every four years.

We have the right to hold them accountable for our football while they are in possession of the baton. Pressing ahead to a more imminent matter, Nigeria will play Algeria in Uyo this weekend and we are all excited because of their recent performances.

I am of course looking forward to a victorious outing by demolishing the Algerians and picking up another three points in the process. It has been yet another black week for the nation with many gallant soldiers killed. People have been mourning and tributes have been pouring out in the media on the loss of these men in the battle to rid the nation of the scourge of the terrorist group Boko Haram.

Surely, the commendable thing to do before the match will be for the players, spectators, and the match officials to pay tribute by observing a minute’s silence for our fallen heroes who paid the supreme sacrifice to save us – Lt Col M Abu-Ali, Sgt Muazu Ibrahim, Sgt Hussani Jafaru, Sgt Bassey Okon, Cpl Chukwu Simon, Able Seaman Patrick Paul (Nigerian Navy), Pte Salisu Lawal, and the others.

The FA should seek permission from the relevant authorities to wear either a black band as a mark of respect. This is a suggestion and I think we can do this without any drama, but paying our own respect through football, the nation’s favourite sport that unifies us all.

Thank you.

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