Football is the biggest religion in Nigeria. It cuts across all other religion, race and belief. Nigeria’s football is full of excitement or the lack of it.
Yesterday, there was excitement in the land when the Peoples Elephants galloped into the semi final of the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup with a 5-1 win over visiting Rayon Sports. It was Enyimba’s second match at the fusion pitch in Aba and the fans were entertained with a 6 goal thriller.
Irrespective of the quagmire that have bedeviled the local league and its football, Enyimba continue to be shoulders above all other teams in the country. The Peoples Elephant have been a source of joy to Nigerians since breaking into the league. This year, they have been the only good news from the shores of Nigeria.
While four teams went into the continental competition, Enyimba remained the only team that progressed to the Group Stage. They have gone one step further by qualifying for the semi finals, their first ever in the competition. Sunshine Stars were the last Nigerian team to reach the semi final of any CAF competition but they were seen pushing their bus along the Kaduna expressway two nights ago.
More of the NFF’s focus for the year was in Russia and how the Eagles will fly super in the World Cup. There were numerous sponsors but it ended up as a mere attendance meeting with no progress from the group stage. While France were in jubilation mode in Paris, Nigerians were stuck in Giwa-Pinnick saga but Enyimba remained on the continent, pushed through the pile and are here.
I am not excited by the NFF election and it results. I am more excited about Enyimba and their Confederation Cup run this year. Will they become the first Nigerian team to win the CAF Confederation Cup? They are the first to win the Champions League and the Super Cup. They can. Becoming champions would mean, Nigeria will have three flag bearers in the 2018/19 season – Lobi Stars, Enyimba and the AITEO Cup runner up. You know Enyimba will win the AITEO Cup. Winks.
Despite playing away from Aba for eons, the tears from the Elephants is known to cause flooding concerns in different part of the country. The return to Aba is a reunion that will yield more fruit for the two time African Champions. Beware of the slaughter slab. It could go haywire with goals.
There is more work to be done but we can glory in the excitement of the 5-1 win before the AITEO Cup group game in Gombe.