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Football | Super Eagles

Anger trails Nigeria's draw



There was palpable anger from football officials over Nigeria's one all draw with Burkina faso in their opening match here at the Africa Nations Cup.

Nigeria's Super Eagles conceded a late equaliser to Burkina Faso in their opening group match here in Nelspruit's Mbomphela Stadium. Cracking atmosphere was created by fans of the two countries but also by those of Zambia and Ethiopia who had met earlier.

The manner of the concession of the equaliser would have hurt and the point gathered will feel like a defeat. The Nigerian camp in the stadium were totally shell shocked at the end, and then later anger took over as those seated near the dug out and by the dressing room gave the players a lot of verbals as they trooped off.

The manager Stephen Keshi is under pressure. An angry NFF official queried " why are we spending so much on this team only to get this. The players are on $100 a day in camp since Faro, Portugal minus free food, they are on $10000 each winning bonus and $5000 each for this draw"

Nigeria is a country of passionate football fans with very little patience and it does seem that there are many officials ready to swing the axe here should this team not get past the group stages. "The Super Eagles manager is the highest paid Nigerian" another official ranted about Stephen Keshi's around $30000 a month salary. "And we have no entered this arrangement only to draw with Burkina Faso". When the reporter pointed out that this team and the manager should be given time like Westerhof was the official reacted angrily "not on this money o".

What is hard to understand is why a country who kept faith with one manager from late 1989 to 1994 reaping the fruits with World Cup qualification, Nations Cup win and a nucleus of players that stayed with the national team till 2000 now find it hard to do so again.

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