The League of Nigerian Sports Editors, has described Nigeria’s non-qualification for the second time back-to-back for Africa’s premier football competition; the Nations Cup, as a great set-back not only to the growth of the game but to the media, football administrators and the generality of Nigerians.
In a statement issued and signed by the body’s President, Tony Ubani and Secretary General, Dare Esan, the Editors’ Guild said that with the array of talents available to Nigeria, it was almost unthinkable that the country will not make it to the AFCON Championship in Gabon next year.
Part of the problems, the body observed is the appointment and sacking of technical staff in the national team and the constant quarrel among the football fraternity in the country.
“Unity is key and we must be united at all times in pursuing the fame and wealth that football brings to the country,” the statement observed.
The editors went further to state that the media alone, (print and electronic inclusive) may have lost over N19billion in advertisement and sponsorship revenue as a result of the non-qualification of the Super Eagles for the AFCON scheduled to hold in Gabon next January.
It therefore called for immediate preparation for the next Nations Cup championship in 2019 and the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
“If it’s true that Nigeria want to host the AFCON Championship after the tournament in Gabon, now is the time to get government guarantee and throw everything into preparations of both the team and facilities needed for the championship. Nigerians has suffered enough pain in other sectors and we cannot afford to allow football which is our source of succour to bring more mystery on Nigerians.”