Prayer For Finidi George

By Cornelius Ehimiaghe

The fact that Finidi George is now the Super Eagles coach is no longer news. What will be news is how long is he going to last on this hot seat. Is he going to be kicked out after two matches? Are his players going to play to his instructions? Are the fans going to be singing: “all we are saying, no more indigenous coach?” Will the NFF be able to pay his salary?

Decades ago, millions of Nigerians used to be inspired by the gallant performances of the Super Eagles. Recent inconsistent display by Super Eagles has led to the average Nigerian football followers diverting their attention to other diversionary activities in order to survive the current economic hardship. Gone are the days when Nigerians put all their hopes on the Super Eagles using the “never say die Naija spirit” to win a losing match. With two international matches experience under his belt, can Finidi George become the lucky general that Napoleon Bonaparte talked about, or is he going to be the field marshal that failed to deliver the World Cup ticket to millions of Nigerians?

As the Super Eagles start their bid to revive their 2026 World Cup hopes, can a tree make a forest? Mind you, Finidi did not lay the shaky foundation of Nigeria’s quest for a 2026 World Cup ticket. The NFF has just bestowed on him the herculean task of awakening the Super in the Eagles. Finidi needs all the best wishes and prayers of Nigerians and the intercessions of our ancestors. Let us pray:

• May your assistant coaches not back stab you. Ise.

• May your star strikers not hit the post during time added on. Ise.

• May the spirit of “Odiye” not enter the body of any Super Eagles players, during your tenure. Ise.

• Under your watch, may no Super Eagles player die on the football field or in hospital after a football or training match. Ise.

• May you and your players not be invited by state securityofficials to be tongue lashed and frog marched for not being able to sing the Nigerian national anthem (Nigeria we hail thee). Ise.

• Under your watch, may no Super Eagles supporter at home or abroad be stabbed, shot at by trigger happy police officers, soldiers, or rival football supporters. Ise.

• May you not be sacked because the kit man of the Super Eagles forgot the jerseys of the Super Eagle players in the hotel room. Ise.

• The day football match fixers are looking for someone to collaborate with them, may they not find your telephone number or email address. Ise.

• May you or your assistant coaches not collect money or undeclared gift items, aid, or abet the collection of money to invite any player to the Super Eagles camp. Ise.

• May the NFF not owe you salary arears beyond one month. Ise.

• May the irresponsible actions of an over zealot football fan or ball boy not lead to the abandonment of a Super Eagles match. Ise.

• May the “oga of the oga at the top” not change your team selection of the Super Eagles in a crucial World Cup match. Ise.

• Under your watch, may no referee or VAR conspire against the Super Eagles. Ise.

• May members of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) not write your professional obituary. Ise.

• May you not be held hostage by football fans, football administrators, kidnappers or unknown gunmen. Ise.

• May the “ladies of pleasure” not twist the waist or reduce the pace of acceleration of any Super Eagles player. Ise.

• Under your watch, may FIFA or CAF not deduct any point of the Super Eagles. Ise.

• May you not qualify the Super Eagles for the 2026 World Cup, and be relieved of your duty before the commencement of the tournament. Ise.

Cornelius Ehimiaghe is a supporter of Bendel Insurance FC