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WHY NIGERIA FAILED TO QUALIFY FOR AFCON 2017-By Taiwo 'Sportivation' Ibrahim

The 2017 African Cup Of Nations has started in Gabon,where African Football Bigwigs will be slugging it out for Continental Bragging Rights.
The Question on the lips of every Nigerian who did not follow the Super Eagles Qualifying series is
‘’Why is Nigeria not at 2017 AFCON???
In this short Article, I will be looking at some of the reasons why the Super Eagles of Nigeria failed to qualify for the ongoing 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon
Let’s go on a Ride;
The Super Eagles of Nigeria started their 2017 AFCON Qualifiers with a 2-0 victory against Chad courtesy of goals from Gbolahan Salami and Odion Ighalo on the 13th of June 2015
On the 5th of September 2015,Super Eagles played out a goalless draw with Tanzania in Dar es salaam.
March 25th 2016 Nigeria played a 1-1 draw with Egypt. at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna,the super eagles took the lead in the 60th minutes before Mohammed Salah restored parity for the Egyptians.
March 27 2016; Chad announced that they are pulling out of the AFCON Qualifiers citing Financial Difficulties.
Chad’s Withdrawal made it a tough battle for the lone spot available in the group.
Because CAF rule states that
‘’In Conformity with Article 61 of the regulations of the Competition which states that ‘’If a team withdraws from the qualifying phase organised in groups all its results shall be annulled
March 29th 2016 Super Eagles lost 1-0 to Egypt a result that confirmed Nigeria absence in the Ongoing 2017 AFCON IN GABON
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have failed to qualify for the last two editions of the African Cup Of Nations after winning it 2013.

I will be enumerating the individuals and the institution responsible for Super Eagles failure to qualify for 2017 AFCON in the following paragraphs.
NFF; The Nigeria Football Federation cannot be exempted from any blame game on the Super Eagles absence at the ongoing 2017 AFCON IN GABON.
When the Super Eagles are doing well, NFF are quick to take the glory but now that they have failed to fly the Nigeria Football Federation should be ready to take the blame.
July 15 2015 NFF President, Amaju Pinnick confirmed the appointment of former Super Eagles midfielder, Sunday Oliseh as the new coach of the Nigeria National Team after sacking 2013 AFCON Winner, Stephen Keshi
Pinnick waxed lyrical about Oliseh’s theoretical qualifications and even dubbed him the
‘’Pep Guardiola Of Africa.
The Marriage between NFF and Oliseh was destined for Greatness on paper.
Many Nigerians were sceptical about Oliseh’s appointment citing his inexperience and temperament as major reasons.

Most Local Coaches have always complained of NFF little or no Support while in charge of the National team, problems ranging from inability to pay Bonuses,allowances, interferences and most importantly lack of respect.
The Marriage lasted for some months with plenty of problems between the couple before Sunday Oliseh resigned few weeks before the decisive double-header against Egypt.
As expected, Sunday Oliseh laid the blame on NFF for failing to provide him with enough support needed to succeed on and off the pitch.
The Appointment of Sunday Oliseh was the beginning of travails for the NFF and the Super Eagles and all Nigerians by extension the events that happened during his short tenure as the national team coach gives credence to my submission.

Many Soccer Pundits,Football Lovers had expressed their fears when Sunday Oliseh was appointed with a target to qualify Nigeria for 2017 AFCON and others.
The Pep Guardiola of Africa according to Pinnick did not cover himself in Glory with his questionable decisions his short stay on the Super Eagles hot seat was marred by Controversy.
Oliseh announced his first squad list with the exclusion of Mikel,Moses and Ighalo,the decision did not go down well some Nigeria football lovers.
Some members of the NFF board were not happy with the exclusion of those players because they believed Oliseh needed the support of the experienced players to succeed.

Three months after his appointment Oliseh stripped Vincent Enyeam of the Super Eagles captaincy after a dispute with the goalkeeper,he replaced enyeama with Ahmed Musa.
The Aftermath of the fall out led Vincent Enyeama to announce his International Retirement
Sunday Oliseh said after Enyeama announced his international retirement
‘’I want a captain who is disciplined,a leader who can motivate other players,a player who comes to camp early,not a retiring player as captain
He continued, ‘The fact is that I would like to have somebody who is thinking of playing now and not somebody who is preparing for retirement or thinking of life after football’’
Few weeks after Enyeama announced his retirement, Emmanuel Emenike also announced his International Retirement.
Enyeama’s Retirement was understandable but Emenike’s Retirement gave Nigerians the Signal that all was not well in the Super Eagles Camp.
Emmanuel Emenike said after announcing his International Retirement
‘’it is a pleasure for me to have played for this great Country, I never regretted it and I think it is the best time to end it,Super Eagles is a camp not a family house, and it should not be a threat zone for any individual’’
When asked about Emenike’s Retirement, Oliseh said
‘’I have made him a part of our rebuilding process, he is a man,if a man chooses to retire,it should be his decision; if you force him back it could be counter productive ,be that as it may, I have always said only one thing is irreplaceable and that is Nigeria itself we are all Replaceable.
Sunday Oliseh did not handle the untimely retirements of two players who played a major role in our success at the 2013 AFCON In South Africa, his lack of Top Level experience really showed in the way he dealt with issues.

In his first match against Tanzania,Sunday Oliseh took off Haruna Lukman after 15 minutes in the first half,he cited the player’s disobedience as a reason for the change.
The substitution drew the anger of the fans, such decisions could damage the player’s confidence and send fear down the spine of other players.
Sunday Oliseh always found somebody to blame for his shortcomings,he didn’t take responsibility for his actions ,he had a knack for going on popular Video Website,YouTube to reply his critics and to blame his employers.
All these aforementioned factors contributed largely to Nigeria’s failure to qualify for 2017 AFCON.
There was no team unity,the decidion to sideline Mikel OBI as the next captain after enyeama caused a lot of internal wrangling in the camp.
The house will be best described as the popular comedy series on terrestial stations popularly called Fuji House of Commotion and Confusion.

PLAYERS; Super Eagles Players will not be left out of the blame,because they are the Actors in the script . some of the players did not show enough commitment and fighting spirit needed to ensure that Nigeria’s flag will be hoisted in AFCON 2017 in Gabon.
The players too will be affected because AFCON 2017 would have given them the opportunity to sell themselves to the world.
Meanwhile,The future is bright for the Super Eagles with the appointment of German coach,Gernot Rohr who has guided the team to victory in their world cup qualifiers ,against Zambia and Algeria.
There seems to be an Aura of invincibility in the new Super Eagles Set up,the players are happy again,the coaching crew have a good relationship with the players.
Most of the Senior players in the Super Eagles have hailed the impact of the German Tactician on and off the pitch.
If the team can avoid complacency and continue to work hard as a team ,Nigerians will not need to suffer any major competition heartbreak.
We have many players who are doing well in their respective clubs and they still have a lot to offer the nation,with the right guidance and right attitude on the part of the players Nigeria will be back in the next AFCON.

On a Final Note, I want to implore Nigerians to enjoy the beautiful football on display at the 2017 AFCON in Gabon even without our darling Super Eagles.

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