Soccer fans in Ebonyi have urged the Super Eagles and its officials not to be scared over Cameroon’s victory at the just concluded 2017 AFCON.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on Sunday defeated the Pharaohs of Egypt 2-1 to record its fifth AFCON title, after triumphs in 1984, 1988, 2000 and 2002.
The victory, however, seemed to pose a nightmare to soccer fans as the Eagles would confront the Lions in a double-header, for Russia 2018 qualifiers in August.
Currently Nigeria is leading Cameroon with four points.
The fans, who spoke to our reporter in Abakaliki on Monday, urged relevant soccer stakeholders to redouble their efforts to ensure Nigeria qualify for the World Cup.
Desmond Ome, Secretary, Ebonyi Football Association, urged the Sports Ministry and the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to come out with a plan that would stop Cameroon.
“It is a known fact that the Lions re-surged at 2017 AFCON and would be spurred by their triumph to confront the Super Eagles in August.
“The victory will also make its established stars who shunned the tournament to itch for a comeback and make the team more formidable to confront Nigeria,” he said.
Julius Ibekwe, defunct Might Jets of Jos player, advised the Eagles not to panic in spite Cameroon’s smothering form.
“Nigeria found itself in Cameroon’s current shoes because of its failure to qualify for 2017 AFCON.
“However, the Eagles put its house in order to record two wins in the world cup qualifiers.
“Cameroon, contrastingly, recorded two draws during the world cup qualifiers, but became resurgent in Gabon, dusting big names such as Senegal, Ghana and Egypt to win the trophy,” he said.
Glober Okoro, a soccer historian went down memory lane to offer a recipe for the Eagles to effectively cage the Lions in the August World Cup qualifiers.
“Nigeria confronted Cote d’Ivoire who were the 1992 AFCON defending champions during the ‘USA’ 94 qualifiers in May and September 1993.
“The Eagles carelessly lost 1-2 in the first meeting in Abidjan on May 2, 1993, but needed Presidential intervention to beat the Ivorians 4-1 in Lagos on Sept. 24, 1993.
“It earned a 1-1 away draw in Algeria on Oct. 8, 1993 to qualify for its first world cup,” he said.
Chamberlain Alegu, a soccer buff, warned that Cameroon would deploy CAF politics to cancel the Eagles four- point advantage in the group.
“The Lions with the assistance of Issa Hayatou, CAF President and stooge referees, would plan to frustrate the Eagles during the first leg in Uyo and use CAF influence to record a win at home, three days later.
“Nigeria should use counter political measures to earn favourable results in both legs and preserve the comfortable point-margin before confronting Zambia and Algeria afterwards,” he said.
Miss Chika Onu, a student and soccer enthusiast, urged the NFF, Coach Gernot Rohr and the players to shun unnecessary media boasts and concentrate on the task ahead.
“Much talk would unwittingly expose the team’s plans and tactics to Cameroon as it would be the gaffe of the century if the Eagles surrender the four-point gap to Cameroon,” she said.