After the World Cup in Germany finished, I was going to post a blog titled "The Death of Nigerian football". I didn't. I refrained from sounding the death knell of my favourite football team. The performance of people like Osaze in the French league, and Kanu in the premiership, made me think there was some hope. Now I'm not so sure anymore.
The initial plan was to outline how there were no players of the Finidi, Jay-jay, Amunike calibre any longer, playing for top European clubs. But I stupidly forgot about the management. A case in point is the cancellation of last night's match against Senegal, due to be held in France. Every African country that matters, and those that didn't, played last night (Tuesday), or tonight. I went to Ghana v Oz at QPR, Egypt played South Africa at Brentford, Cameroon played Indonesia, Ivory Coast played Sweden. Morocco, Tunisia, Togo, even Zimbabwe played over the last couple of days. And where was the so-called giant of Africa?
Friendly matches are not hard to organise. There are numerous sports consultancies that organise international matches. The FAs only have to do sweet FA. Pay some money to the company and call up your players. Calling up your players involves sending a fax to them and their clubs, and sending them a ticket to gather. It's not rocket science.
I spoke to Amos Adamu during the World Cup, and he said a similar non-qualification disaster wouldn't happen for South Africa 2010. I'm now disinclined to believe him. The new board has just started, so I suppose it might be pushing it to expect any action so early. But Eguavoen is still manager, and they haven't been able to organise a friendly.
If NFA doesn't get its act together...