Ghana football legend, Tony Yeboah
By Olawale Ajimotokan
Ghana football legend, Tony Yeboah, said he believes Nigeria will berth next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa in spite of the dwindling fortunes of the Super Eagles.
Yeboah, who was a member of the Achimota Golf Club that visited Abuja to mark Nigeria’s Independence Day, told reporters Sunday that he had no reservation about the mood of the Eagles to advance to the final phase of the continent’s coveted football spectacle in 2013.
“I don’t see Nigeria missing out of the Nations Cup party this time. I am convinced the Eagles will get it right and make it to South Africa. I think Nigeria and Ghana will both make the cut," Yeboah said.
The former Leeds striker tasked the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to ensure that the right things were done for the Eagles not to miss out when the continent’s best nations are paraded in South Africa.
The Eagles will host Liberia in Calabar on October 13 in the second leg of the final qualifying stanza for a slot to South Africa 2013. Liberia and Nigeria played a 2-2 draw in the first leg played in Monrovia last month.
Yeboah, who was Austin Jay Jay Okocha’s team mate in Eintract Frankfurt of Germany in the early 1990s, said that the domination of the traditional football forces in Africa was under challenge because the game is now growing in Africa.
“Years ago, an Africa Cup of Nations tournament without Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Egypt was incomplete. But such is not the case anymore as some ‘little’ countries are now doing well. Football is now developing and played in many countries where it is a big business. It is unfortunate that Nigeria and Ghana have slowed down in their football development efforts, giving other African countries the opportunity to take over from them in competitive football,” Yeboah said.
The former international said he would be consolidating on nurturing a club, Yegola FC, which is in Ghana’s top division league, rather than joining the bandwagon of former footballers looking to excel in administration.
Yeboah, who now plays golf off 11-handicap, said he started playing the game two years ago after he retired from active football.