Football Is More Than Just A Game-Segun Odegbami, ex-Skipper Super Eagles

Why we do not see it and take lessons from its examples baffle me. It is Nigeria’s best and most powerful adverting tool. Take what happened yesterday in Uyo. Nigeria defeated Cameroon with ease, class and style.

All over the world, Nigerians celebrated the historic victory. Here in Nigeria, in every bar, club and hangout, in every lounge, viewing centre and eatery, and, indeed, in almost every home, people celebrated in one form or the other.

The psychological impact on the ordinary man on the streets all over the country is awesome, temporarily relieving him of the mountain of self-inflicted burdens that plague him daily in the country. Yet, the economic impact on the ordinary man, through the celebrations, is enormous.

That victory marked a real probability now of Nigeria berthing in Russia in 2018 for the World Cup. The measurable and visible benefits are all around for people to see

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Conservatively, this will generate a massive injection of probably tens of billions of Naira into the advertising business in the country. And that’s just for starters.

More of the impact revenue and benefits will be generated and felt in every home shortly before and during the World Cup itself. The economic contribution to the country can only be worked out by experts in that field.

Nigerian football and the national football team in particular, the Super Eagles, have become a metaphor for the country – doing well in fits and starts, always displaying potentials but never fulfilling them.

Yesterday, the Eagles demonstrated once again the country’s capacity and propensity to become a global power in football. They reminded us all also of the country’s capacity to become a global player in virtually all spheres of life.

The resources – natural, human and intellectual – are in abundance all around us but remain wasting, unappreciated and untapped for general good of the entire country. We see and experience them in isolated and uncoordinated achievements with inconsistent results, with football as a powerful and the most visible reminder.

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I thank the great Super Eagles for not disappointing us, and for reminding Nigerians once again of who we really are and can be if only we set aside those things that create division amongst us, stop working for selfish narrow interests only, focus on our strengths and use them to achieve goals that represent our collective best interests.

I congratulate all Nigerians on this well-earned victory!