Thursday, November 20, 2014

Former Super Eagles player, Okocha questions players' passion following AFCON failure

Former Super Eagles star Jay-Jay Okocha questions the passion of the current national team following Wednesday performance which led to the reigning AFCON champions crashing out of the 2015 Nations Cup qualifiers. Nigeria failed to qualify for next year's Nations Cup after drawing 2-2 against South Africa in Uyo, marking their second exit before the tournament in three editions.

South Africa's Tokelo Ranti scored twice in both half of the game, they however slipped after a late equalizer by the Eagles denying The Bafana Bafana any chance of a first ever win in Nigeria.
Nigeria who were tied in second place with Congo in Group A of the Nations Cup qualifiers failed to book their place in next year's competition which will be held in Equatorial Guinea as Congo went on to secure their place with a 1-0 victory over Sudan, and, Nigeria, well, crashed out with their 2-2 draw with S/Africa.
Seasoned footballer Okocha questions their passion and believes that the players in the current team should show have shown concern, speaking to he said:
I think, to be honest, we will always produce talented players. But perhaps the question is whether they have the same passion that they used to have, People are pressuring them about that, you know, because sometimes it seems as if they don’t really care much about the result.”
Although the 41-year-old player who won 75 caps during his time in the national team still believes they would have performed well in the competition if they qualified, he insists the Eagles made it difficult earlier in their campaign: Of course it was down to our bad spot, even if we were still in with a chance,” he also added. “I think sometimes players must have a wake-up call before they realize they are back in African football. They left themselves get into a difficult position.”
I have no doubt that had we managed to qualify we would have had a good tournament, because you have to play really well once it comes to the tournament itself. The qualifiers are sometimes a bit tricky here in Africa, so I think if they had qualified they would have had a good tournament.”

Congo and South Africa will join the 16 nation competition which will be held next year.