By Obi Martins Okafor.
Nigerians might have been relieved to find their team in a less difficult group – or so some believe – drawn by CAF on Wednesday, but there is more to those teams hurled up with Nigeria for the group stage.
In the draws for the 2013 Nations Cup made by CAF on Wednesday, Nigeria landed in Group C, alongside cup holders, Zambia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso – who were hosts and finalists in 1998.
So many comments have gone round disregarding the threat the so called minnows possess, even though it was the same minnows in the name of Equitorial Guinea that prevented us from signing on the attendance list at the last tournament.
Given our past antecedents in the hands of these teams, it is really appalling that attention is currently not being given to the teams in our group like Ethiopia and Burkina.
The threat of the current African champions, Zambia cannot be over emphasized. Apart from the fact that they are the current holders, the team is a young, dynamic and compact group whose understanding of each other is excellent given that 95% of their players ply their trade in southern part of Africa.
The Chipolopolo of Zambia have not beaten Nigeria in any competitive game, this is enough motivation for them to win, especially since they will not be forgetting so quick their loss to the Eagles in the 1994 finals.
These and a lot more details need to be taken into consideration in other for the Eagles to take our preparations very seriously, as a surprise will most definitely spring up in the tournament. The big question is “will our team be at the least ready to cushion these threats and surprise that awaits us?”
All we can hope for is a positive answer.