Football fans in some parts of Lagos State who watch the matches of the ongoing 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon at pubs have lamented the Super Eagles’ absence.

Football fans in some parts of Lagos State who watch the matches of the ongoing 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon at pubs have lamented the Super Eagles’ absence.

Football fans in some parts of Lagos State who watch the matches of the ongoing 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon at pubs have lamented the Super Eagles’ absence.

The fans told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday during the matches of the day that the sports authorities should ensure that the national team returned to the competition.

It will be recalled that the national team since winning the 2013 edition in South Africa with the late Stephen Keshi as coach, Nigeria could not qualify for the 2015 and 2017 editions.

NAN reports that in the matches on Sunday, Zimbabwe drew 2-2 with Algeria, while Senegal defeated Tunisia 2-0.

Some of the fans told NAN at a popularly bar, “Paradise’’, along Ikotun-Idimu road, that the Super Eagles needed support to return to its winning ways.

They said that the ongoing competition was boring to watch and many fans had no interest in it.

A commercial motorist, Ademola Shaba, said that in every AFCON the Super Eagles played, it was always like a carnival at the drinking bar.

“When we failed to qualify for this edition, the reality didn’t set in until it kicked off on Saturday; it’s painful to watch as a patriotic Nigerian.

“Whenever Nigeria is playing, it’s always like a carnival is on with so many side attractions but as it is now, it doesn’t even feel like AFCON is on,’’ Shaba said.

Daniel Iyiolakan, a fish farmer, said that the Super Eagles’ absence at the tournament meant there won’t be free drinks at the bar.

“Most times, when Nigeria plays and win during the competition, one can be sure of free drinks here.

“The excitement is always contagious, even to ordinary passersby, it’s so sad that for two editions now we haven’t been able to qualify,’’ he said.

Sharing the same opinion, Chidi Onuorah, a businessman, appealed to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the team handlers to focus on rebuilding the team.

“This is sad honestly for a football loving country like ours, it shows that something is wrong, the years of patching things up is over and the NFF needs to understand that.

“We need to address this with all seriousness and sincerity, we shouldn’t be paying lips service to football development,’’ he said.

Edwin Sambo, a retiree, told NAN that if the Super Eagles had qualified for the Nations Cup, it would have eased off a little of the tension in the country.

“Look at it now, everywhere is tensed, the economy is bad, assuming we qualified; we would have had something to take our mind off our numerous problems.

“At least we would have something to cheer about, I hope this doesn’t recur, not seeing our jersey at this competition is painful, and the banters here would have been interesting.

“I have DSTV at home but during AFCON and foreign league matches, I watch here because their analysis at times makes sense and most times its hilarious,’’ Sambo said. (NAN)

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