The weekend draws closer with such alarming speed faster than Louis Hamilton’s Mercedes. It seems like yesterday that Arsenal scrapped a 1-0 win in the English Premier League and same week the political actions in Nigeria halted for the second time in recent time, the footballing league activities of the Nation. I am a gooner but first a Nigerian and my interest in Nigerian football gives me another pair of glasses to look at football.
The weekend brings us to a mouth watery clash which will most likely be a sun baking clash in the city of Kano with host and current Champions of Nigeria, Kano Pillars welcoming the Peoples Elephant of Aba, two time African Champions. Unfortunately, the game will only be live on twitter not on TV to the glory of the management of the League and the TV sponsors. The Kano boys will be hoping to get another one better than their Aba counterpart especially after they were both booted out of the CAF Champions League in the same round during the Easter.
The CAF Champions league exit hurt me so much especially seeing that Enyimba lost to a mid table team in Egypt that may even be renting a stadium in Cairo. How the peoples elephant conceded two late goals is yet to be digested in my bowels. A 1-0 first victory in Aba was not enough and the Aba millionaires will rue all the wasted chances. Unfortunately Khadiri Ikhana could not produce the magic that made him lead Enyimba to their first CAF Champions league title.
I had hoped that Enyimba would give Nigeria a degree of pride because they had played a day after Kano Pillars were kicked out. Pillars’ defeat was not earth shattering stuff. They have only been to the group stage once in their entire history and in recent years they have never crossed the red sea of the first round round. Upturning a 4-0 1st leg defeat would have been the 8th wonder of the World.
Only Warri Wolves gave the happy people of Nigeria a reason to smile. They have progressed to the second round of the CAF Confederation cup with a good record. Their colleague, Dolphins were knocked out of the cup no thanks to poor management, the bane of Nigerian football.
Back to the league… the biggest game is in Kano and Pillars have a scary home record where they have not lost in the League since Issa Hayatou became president of CAF, UEFA and FIFA. Heartland FC were the last team to nick a victory in Kano and it was in a CAF Champions League semifinal. Pillars will be without Gambo Mohammed, no thanks to injuries he suffered from gun shots while travelling to honour a game. Enyimba will hope to bank on their recent state Federation cup victory and hope that Mfom Udoh, the reigning player of the season gets his scoring boots right.
For more Enyimba rants, check out That Enyimba Fan
GloNPFL Game Week 4 Fixtures
Pride is up for stake in Kano and other 9 venues across the federation. The Sunday fixtures are listed below.
Kano Pillars Vs Enyimba
Bayelsa United Vs Taraba
Kwara United Vs Heartland
Lobi Stars Vs Sharks
Akwa United Vs Ifeanyi Uba
Enugu Rangers Vs Giwa
Sunshine Stars Vs Dolphins
Warri Wolves Vs El Kanemi Warriors
Abia Warriors Vs Wikki Tourist
Nasarawa United Vs Shooting Stars
Coach of the Super Eagles?
Talking pride, I wonder who takes the pride for leaving the Super Eagles without a coach since their failure to qualify for AFCON 2015. The Sack-no-sack romance of Stephen Keshi since after the Brazil 2014 worldcup is just like a Telemundo soap opera. We have flirted for so long and the football administrators seem to be confused and just allow one man to hold the country at ransom. Whether he is being owned unpaid salaries is another dimension yet to be determined but the gradual rot after the assumed rise of the Super Eagles should worry every Nigeria fan. We keep sliding down the FIFA monthly ranking, aiming to be as low as Tahiti. How Wales is 22 and Nigeria is below 40 tells you how our football have grown in the past 9 months.
The Super Eagles must wake up and take football seriously. It is like a religion here and we still feel the pain of missing out of the last AFCON in Equatorial Guinea. The home based eagles must also look forward to doing better in the next championship. The Sand Eagles are doing well in Seychelles and hopefully they return with the trophy. The Ladies are on another level, hopefully they don’t stagnate like their male counterpart.
Hopefully, the Nigerian League will rise. I unrest my case.