FIFA Match Agent and Stadium Facility Expert, Ebi Egbe, has declared that he saw Super Eagles fall in Uyo to South Africa coming.
Egbe had before the match warned that Nigeria’s foreign legion would always find it difficult playing at home, no thanks to the bad playing pitches that litter the country’s landscape.
“I saw the problem Eagles faced in Uyo coming. The interviews I granted the media before the game can attest to that. The way the players express themselves in Europe is not the same way they would when they come home because of the undulated pitches we have here in Nigeria.
The Uyo pitch may be the best in the country today, but it is not anywhere near the zero undulated pitches our players are used to in Europe in their various club sides. We can clearly see that the players find it difficult to adjust after one or two days of training on the undulated Uyo pitch, For us, to get the best out of our players, we must invest in good pitches,” Egbe said.
Egbe who is the CEO of Monimichelle, a stadium construction outfit said home-based players would have done better in the game against South Africa because they would have been playing on a familiar terrain.
“What we can do is to forget about using our foreign-based players when we are playing at home until we fix our pitches. I have consistently said the biggest problem facing our football is that of the playing turfs. If the North African countries and even a country like Congo and Gabon can get it right, I don’t see why Nigeria can’t.
Constructing good pitches, the kind of pitches we see in Europe is not rocket science. My outfit has the expertise to provide the country with FIFA approved Geo technology lead free synthetic grass pitches that are 95 per cent natural. With same ball behavior with a properly manicured zero undulated natural turf pitch. Our Geo tech pitches even have a lower temperature than a natural turf pitch on a sunny day.”
Egbe was however quick in adding that it is not over for the Eagles as far as the race to Cameroon 2019 AFCON is concerned.
He said the Eagles on a good day are capable of beating South Africa away.
“The terrain in South Africa in the return leg would favour the Eagles. The race has just started and I believe the Eagles would bounce back to reckoning.”