Dropped players express shock and disappointment
THE dream and prayer of every footballer is to play at the highest level which is the senior World Cup. The dream fades away if a player is dropped from the squad to represent his country at the mundial and because it is staged every four years, there is no assurance such player will be available for another edition probably due to injury or old age. The country he is hoping to represent may not even qualify. That is why every player does all within his means to be there when his colleagues play in the World Cup.
Shock and disappointment were the order of the day when Nigeria’s coach, Stephen Keshi released the final 23-man list to represent the country at Brazil 2014 World Cup. Some of those who couldn’t make the list are still rueing their missed chance of showcasing their talents to the outside world.
Top on the list is AFCON 2013 hero, Sunday Mba, who couldn’t believe it when his name was missing on the list. According to Keshi, “Mba was dropped because he reported to the Eagles camp in London late and did not exhibit the hunger expected of him.”
Sunday Mba, who currently plays for Bastia, in France took to the social media to express his disappointment.
“Gutted not to make it to the World Cup. I really wanted to fight and sweat for the glory of the team and my beloved country.”
Another dropped player who felt disappointed over his non inclusion is Confederation Cup hat trick hero, Nnamdi Oduamadi. Since the news of his omission, his club, Varese have recalled him to the team for preparation for another season.
“I am so sad but that is life and I will be stronger. I gave it all even accepting a pay cut to play regularly at Varese. If one’s dream should fall and break into pieces never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again,” Oduamadi wrote on his Twitter page.
Nosa Igiebor’s Norwegian agent, Atla Aneke was heartbroken when the name of his client went missing from the final list. According to him (Atla), “I have no idea why the coach axed him. His omission came as a surprise to me but the coach has made his decision.”
Others in this category of dropped players like Joel Obi, Obinna Nsofor, Daniel Akpeyi have since moved on with life after the team list was released on Monday, June 2, 2014, by the coach, Stephen Keshi.
‘The team will have a great tournament’ – JOHN FASHANU
“I have always supported Stephen Keshi. He is making good decision, he has been able to blend local and international players. It is a good move to bring back Joseph Yobo. We also need to give credit to Nigerian Football Federation leadership because under the federation football has thrived very well. We also have to give credit to Mr. President because during his time the Super Eagles is flourishing again.
“My international sports academy will be opening in Abuja this year. The outing in Brazil will be excellent, we will be there to cheer the boys. I think it’s going to be a great tournament for Nigeria.”
‘I won’t write the Super Eagles off’ – BIMBO ADEOLA
“We are just a participant at the FIFA World Cup. We have done well to build a good team to represent Nigeria and to banish the disappointment of 2002, non-qualification in 2006 and woeful performance in 2010. The joy for me is that a Nigerian who qualified us for the World Cup is taking us there. We have guys who are ready to take on the world. I won’t bet on the team yet and I won’t share the same belief as others who predicted we will make it to the semi finals in the tournament. If we make it to the second round anything can happen. And if we are able to repel all the forces, we are as good as being in the quarter finals and that means we have really improved and football will really be back in Nigeria as it used to be in the past. Our players will now have the opportunity to move to better clubs as we saw in 1994 and 1998.”
BRAZIL 2014 COSTS A WHOOPING N2.72 TRILLION
THE 2014 World Cup in Brazil will gulp a total of $16 billion (N2.72 trillion) making it the most expensive World Cup ever. Even the last two World Cups in South Africa and Germany did not guzzle that much.
Brazilian government will spend the money on stadiums, transport, network, security and infrastructural development. The country is investing in these areas to reduce criminality and poverty. The high cost of hosting this mundial is probably the cause of protest back home against the spending of this huge money.
In 2010, South Africa spent $4 billion (N680 billion) on the World Cup. In 2006, Germany spent $6 billion (N1,02 trillion). Korea/Japan spent $5 billion (N850 billion) in hosting the 2002 edition, the total money spent on the 1998 edition by France was $340 million (N57.8 billion) while USA spent $30 million (N5.1 billion) on the 1994 edition.
THE CASH PRIZE TAG
EVERY team around the world does all within their capacity to be part of the global soccer fiesta not only because it boosts the credentials of their players, there are cash rewards for each participating team from FIFA.
The winners of the 2014 World Cup will get $35 million (N5.95 billion), whereas in 2010 it was $31 million (N5.27 billion). The runner-up will claim $25 million (N4.25 billion), while the team that wins the third place will pocket $22 million (N3.74 billion) and the fourth place country will smile home with $20 million (N3.4 billion).
Each country that makes it to the knock out stage will receive $8 million (N1.35 billion). The total amount of money available for participating countries and clubs will be $576 million (N97.92 billion).
NIGERIAN REFEREES ABSENT AGAIN AT THE WORLD CUP
NO Nigerian referee was included in the list of referees to officiate matches at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. 25 names were picked from six continents and the only African names on that list came from Ivory Coast, Gambia and Algeria.
SUPER EAGLES MATCH SCHEDULES
IRAN vs NIGERIA
June 16, 2014
NIGERIA vs BOSNIA
June 21, 2014
NIGERIA vs ARGENTINA
June 25, 2014