Soccer News of Monday, 12 March 2001
More than a dozen Nigerian macho men made their presence felt at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday after the Ghana -Nigeria World Cup qualifier when they guarded the Super Eagles and prevented journalists and fans from getting easy access to them.
The he-men who were dressed in black T-shirts over the same colour of jeans pairs of trousers mounted sentry at the entrance to the Nigerian dressing room and resisted attempts by anxious media practitioners to interview their players.
About ten of them condoned off the bus carrying the Super Eagles after the match and
trotted along in readiness to thwart any offensive as the vehicle moved out of the stadium.
Others followed the Nigerian team's bus closely from behind craving their necks out in alertness against any attack.
The GNA investigations revealed that the macho men were the personal bodyguards of the Nigerian professionals and they were fretted in by the players to provide them with security.
Mr Bassey Etuk, a photo journalist with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) described the practice as "pomposity and a show of wealth".
He said the money wasted to finance the trip of the "power men" should have been donated to charity or invested in the grooming of young players who would take over from them when they retire.
He said he was not happy with the performance of the team against a Ghanaian squad selected from one team, adding that the draw did not reflect the trend of play. Ghana should have won the game.
Mr Oasim Elegbede, Deputy Editor of Complete Football Magazine corroborated the stance of Mr Etuk when he told the GNA that the Nigerian were saved by God.
He praised the Ghanaian technical team and the players for the "fluid attacking football" they played and said Nigeria should take a cue from it and begin grooming boys from the local league to don the Super Eagles' jerseys in the future.
Mr Elegbede said the type of football the boys played could be a worry to any of the teams in the World Clubs' Championship scheduled for Spain in July.
He advised the Hearts' management to motivate the boys to keep up the tempo and do Africa proud when they lead the African assault against the likes of Real Madrid of Spain and LA Galaxy of the United States during the championship.