DUROâ€™S RUSSIA NOTESâ€¦
Every World Cup year has become a sort of jinxed era for the countryâ€™s football. It has become associated with all manners of intrigues one can ever imagine. This time out here in Russia is no way different from all previous World Cup year. Politicking is rife despite attempts by the NFF leadership to sweep it under the carpet.
One of the money-bags who owns a NPFL club has been busy running around here selling his candidature to the stakeholders here. He is angling to become the Chairman of Chairmen position currently occupied by the fellow representing North-west on the NFF board.
Others who want to unseat Amaju Pinnick from the coveted position have also launched their underground campaigns, using all manners of tricks to rubbish the lofty height the Delta-born administrator has lifted football administration in the country. All these surreptitious activities, rather than add values to Nigerians dreams of an improvement on the second round benchmark attained at USA â€™94 have become a burden to the team, causing so much distractions here. Elections have been scheduled to hold in Katsina in September even as Chris Giwa is waiting for his case against the Warri polls that brought in Pinnick referred back to the High Court for retrial to begin.
Those behind attempts to pull down the career of youngster Francis Uzoho are not relenting in their quest to hang OLD MAN tag on the 19-year old Deportive la Coruna shot stopper. The Social Media was awash again with the trendy picture of the former Golden Eaglet purportedly congratulating his second son on his 17th birthday this week. Those who knew the lad when he first appeared at the Eaglets camp have dismissed such trending mischief on Facebook as arrant nonsense.
Eagles camp in Essentuki has equally been making fool of those concocting such rubbish. One of the players from the same Eastern part of the country as Uzoho joked with the goalkeeper at training to become his â€˜Uncleâ€™. They all had healthy laugh over the matter.
A first time visitor to Europe amongst some of the Nigerian football fans here is wondering why even at almost midnight the day remains as bright as 10 a.m in Nigeria. No explanation of longer day or short night makes any meaning to him. To the hearing of this reporter, he was heard telling one of his co-travellers that the God that created Europe must be different from the one that made Africa. â€œSee, even at 11pm, I donâ€™t need torch light to move around. I am not sure it is the same God that made Africa and Europe. Everything is working fine here. No power failure. Even the power bank I brought here from Nigeria is useless as I donâ€™t need it,â€ quipped the obviously flabbergasted fan who is lapping up every minute of his stay in Russia.