The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Algeria is scheduled for November 12 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo. It is an exigency that is not an emergency so the Amaju Pinnick-led Nigeria Football Federation board must be on its toes to ensure that there are no hiccups. Here are five things that can help:
Please let fans pay to come in
State governments are getting it wrong by opening the gate free for people. Yes, they want the stadium to be packed but the Nigeria Football Federation needs money and part of their marketing strategy should be gate takings. The Federal Government will not continue to be a Father Christmas – NFF must stand up and market the brand called the Super Eagles so as to raise the requisite money to run the game.
Send air tickets to invited players
It is good to see Gernot Rohr in England meeting players of the Eagles, but the NFF should go further to ensure that the ticket palaver that almost overshadowed the trip to Ndola does not repeat itself. They know the players they need to prosecute the match against Algeria and they have a traveling agent. They should get together and get these players their return tickets. NOW!
Deploy Rohr to Uyo immediately
Immediately Rohr gets back, he should be deployed straight to Uyo to undertake his own preparations for the game. He was the one that complained of the pitch being bumpy, which led to it being re-laid. He should be deployed there to ensure he has everything in place for the arrival of the players. Many would say there should be a camp commandant, but the German tactician obviously understands his players’ needs more than the supposed commandant.
Get the players’ bonuses ready
There is still the small matter of match bonuses. Some have proposed that the players play for the country on patriotism but others have countered that the NFF does not do its job on patriotism – valid point. So since the players have to be paid, the NFF should source these monies before the date. November 12 is not an emergency – it is just 15 days away and the bonus package is already known, likewise the number of players and officials – let us be professional in this, please!
Plan for a victory
The Super Eagles are currently in a good place – ahead of Cameroon, Algeria, and Zambia, and we can keep it that way until the end of the qualifiers by planning on winning every match. The NFF understands the dynamics of what has to come into play, the politics they have to play and the mileage they have to put in. Success does not come by luck – it comes with requisite planning. If the NFF are really desirous of taking the Eagles to Russia, then they must plan this victory and then the next four.
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