LONDON 2012 QUALIFIER: HURDLES AGAINST DREAM TEAM V
In fact, a top Nigerian soccer buff, who pleaded anonymity has declared that there were so many factors that would work against the Austin Eguavoen-tutored lads, top of which is that they are in the same group with the host, Morocco.
The veteran football administrator, who said he wouldn't want his name in print to avoid being dubbed a prophet of doom by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials said the Dream Team, to say the least, was walking a very tight rope.
He declared: 'The Dream Team is in for trouble because it is up against the host in the very first game and Morocco would do everything to exploit home advantage to the fullest. We are equally in the same group with Algeria and Morocco is like home to the Algerians. There is going to be a north African gang up against Nigeria and beyond that, Algeria has got a powerful man in CAF that could string things in his country's favour.
'In our group, the two favourites for the semi final are: Morocco and Algeria. Nigeria and Senegal are clear outsiders and would have to fight with the last drop of their blood to go through. Unfortunately, any country not in the semi is out of the Olympics.' He stressed that Coach Eguavoen has not helped matters with the way he is preparing his team ahead of the qualifier.
'Rather than stay at home to build his team around home-based players, Eguavoen has been combing the whole of Europe in quest of players whose clubs would not release until the very last minute, if they would accede. He (Eguavoen) is going to parade a bunch of talented players that can hardly click as a team. This was the factor that prevented him from qualifying Nigeria for the All Africa Games.'
The 8-Nation Olympic qualifier, which was initially billed to take place in Egypt, will kick off November 21 in Rabat, Morocco. Africa's three representatives will emerge at the event with the fourth placed country going for a playoff against Asia. The other countries in the London 2012 race include South Africa, Egypt, Gabon and Cote d'Ivoire.