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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Talk about Nigeria
Have your say on Nigeria's progress
Nigeria fail to reach the knockout stages despite sound performances against all three opponents in "the group of death".

Where did Nigeria go wrong?


This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.


Nigeria should stick with Onigbinde and give him a four year contract. With Ikedia, Yobo, Christopher, Babayaro and Aghahowa he will have the nucleus of the team to challenge the world in 2006. West must be dropped immediately! He is too slow, does not even have a team and is a bad influence on the other players. It was unfortunate that Oliseh had to pay the price for standing up to sports ministry officials. He could have made a difference in this team.
Tawanda Dzvova,Zimbabwe

We are trying to build a new team after a poor performance at the Nations Cup. Nevertheless, that does not mean we should not have gone beyond the first round. Afterall, in our last two appearances we were able to reach the second round.
Babajide Babatunde, Nigeria

Nigeria were placed in a formidable group this time and did not qualify for the second round. That should not make us demean the great effort the boys and the coach put in. They did a great job and if they are left together for the next four years, they will bring home something for Africa in 2006. If Nigeria were where Senegal were in the quarter-finals, the Turks would be packing and the Brazilians would be starting to have sleepless nights.
John Mufumba, Uganda

Open Quote
Give Onigbinde some time. He only had three months - let's give him four years and see what happens from there
Close Quote
Zeda, Nigeria
Nigeria were always fighting a losing battle at this World Cup. The preparation was poor, the coaching methods were outdated and below par. Most importantly, the players were just not good enough. Nigeria didn't have a player that was truly world class at this tournament.
Ike Onwubuya,England

is an excellent coach, bringing good morale and discipline, and acting as a father figure to the players and encouraging them - but in addition we need a good technical adviser who can read the game and make useful contributions.
Chineme Obuba, Nigeria

Give Onigbinde some time. He only had three months - let's give him four years and see what happens from there. Nigeria has so much talent, yet we never go far. It's like the saying, "Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink".
Zeda, Nigeria

Open Quote
Blaming Onigbinde is not even scratching the surface; let's put our house in order
Close Quote
Oki, Nigerian in USA
Nobody moaned about Onigbinde when we beat Scotland, Ireland or Jamaica. We have Nigerians excelling all over the world in very tough, hostile conditions, yet we talk of needing a foreign coach.

There is nothing wrong with taking a leaf from overseas, but taking a foreign coach is nonsense. They'll never feel the passion nor the pain of a nation at times like this. Incidentally, Cameroon had a foreign coach and were expected to qualify whereas a local coach has taken the USA to the quarter-finals. Howzat?
Mister Lambey, London, UK

We need a good foreign coach and more experienced players.
Uche, Nigeria

I still wonder why we were expecting to reap where we never sowed. Since France 98,we are operating under the 3rd FA chairman, the 4th coach, and the 3rd Sports Minister!. How then do you plan and perform under such instabilities.

Blaming Onigbinde is not even scratching the surface; let's put our house in order. We were able to perform in USA 94 because we had a team, and not group of players, some of whom are Press made stars. Let's take a cue from Senegal and our old teams of 1980 and 94:get a knowledgeable tactician for at least 4 year contract and let him do his job.
Oki, Nigerian in USA

Open Quote
Nigeria had a big defensive problem before the World Cup
Close Quote
Tenny,USA
The Nigerian coach should be changed, as the unhappiness of the players in the super eagles camp should be properly addressed . the key players that made Nigeria to qualify for the world cup did not play in the world cup. once there's unhappiness among the team, the cannot be super eagle but flying or jumping eagles.
gospel, Nigeria

Onigbinde did a good job. It is not easy raising a team three months before the tournament. He made a few tactical errors but I still want him to remain the Nigerian coach. He was able to bring sanity back to the team.
Adeola Amokomowo, Nigeria

Nigeria crashed out of the World Cup due to the replacement of the coach and the players who worked hard to qualify for the World Cup.
Emma Aka,Nigeria

Open Quote
There is nothing wrong with growing a new generation of footballers but the World Cup is the wrong occasion for such experiments
Close Quote
Emenike, Austria
Taribo West is a complete disgrace for the unsavoury remarks he made about the coach.
Dutire James, Nigeria.

African teams' main problem is we want a "quick fix" to resolve our problems. One loss and off goes the coaching staff and players - a good strong team is like good wine, it takes time to blend and mature.
Jada Albert, Sudan

Can Onigbinde raise the tactical level of Nigerian football? The answer is no. We have the materials and he has laid a good foundation but now is the time to employ the services of a Knowledgeable tactician - no more sentiments!
Yinka Ntia, Togo

Playing the 3-4-3 formation means more attack and less defence and we all know that Nigeria had a big defensive problem before the World Cup. If we had played a 4-3-3 against Sweden we might have had a good thing coming.
Tenny,USA

There is nothing wrong with growing a new generation of footballers but the World Cup is the wrong occasion for such experiments. I don't see Onigbinde staying on as a coach - people have to accept responsibility and face the consequences of their conducts.
Emenike, Austria

Open Quote
Nigeria must have learnt a bitter lesson for the rash decision to disband the old team that qualified for the World Cup
Close Quote
Okey Mac, Nigeria/USA

Onigbinde has made his point. He is a great believer in young talents - Enyeama is a revealation, Yobo looks like a future captain, the best we've got for now, Ogbeche only needs a little maturing and Christopher is good. It is obvious why we failed this time - we started with the right team six months too late.
Tunde,Nigeria

Nigeria must have learnt a bitter lesson for the rash decision to disband the old team that qualified for the World Cup. It is obvious that there is the need to inject new and younger players into the team but the timing was wrong.
Okey Mac, Nigeria/USA

Let's not criticise Onigbinde. He did the best with what he had in the time he had. Let's learn from our mistakes and start to prepare NOW for 2004 and 2006.
A Fuja, England

Open Quote
We now have a future team
Close Quote
Lanre Kasumu,Nigeria

As an Elementary school kid, growing up in Nigeria years ago, there was a brand of football we used to call "Kpum! Kpum!" (coined from the Ibo dialect to describe the kicking of the ball without any purpose of attack, coherence or team concept). It was painfully unbearable to watch a superbly talented and skilful Super Eagles team display this brand of football.
Chris,USA

Nothing much to worry about, these boys are still young and inexperienced - we now have a future team.
Lanre Kasumu,Nigeria

Above all we need a coach from overseas and I mean a world class coach.
Fidelis Ezeh, Nigeria/USA

Well done young lads, take heart. With the abundant talent you have got and age on your side, you will surely have the world at your mercy. My only fear is the NFA - they lack organisation.
Martin Opara, Nigeria

Open Quote
It's time for new blood
Close Quote
Jason Ayanka, Nigeria via England

Nigeria should learn how to score, not entertain. The end question is always who is the winner and not the most exciting.
Kenneth, Nigeria

I'll continue to say it, we thank the old players for all they've done for the eagles, but now it's time for new blood. I'm impressed with Yobo, Ikedia, Udeze, Okocha, Justice, Obeche, Sodje and everyone that played against England, including Enyeama. Goodbye Finidi, Oliseh, West, Lawal. With this new players and world class management (technical, financial and pastoral), I say the future is bright - with just a little bit of luck. After all, France and Argentina are out. You win some, you lose some.
Jason Ayanka, Nigeria via England

Open Quote
He didn't seem to have any tactics, and doesn't know who his best players are.
Close Quote
Femi B, UK
Nigeria really did themselves and all Nigerian proud with their performance. It has been predicted that their group is a group of death and with Argentina now out Nigeria is not disgraced after all. England is indeed lucky not to have been beaten.
Thomas Ola, Nigeria

With the squad Nigeria have they would have qualified out of any of the other groups. England will win the game against them, but it will only be by the odd goal. Nigeria are a strong physical team and we can expect another tough game.
Andrew Baron, England

As an English admirer of the Super Eagles, I feel they would do better concentrating on their football rather than taking a leaf from the Argentines, i.e. taunting their opponents.
Michael McIver, England

Nigeria are one of the best teams in the world. They have a very young side but are improving all the time. They put up a good fight against Argentina and were the better team in the Sweden match. I think this current team will go far and win the World Cup in eight or twelve years
Tom Dunn, England

Onigbinde did well to bring in new players and reshuffle the pack but he's definitely out of his depth at World Cup level. He didn't seem to have any tactics, and doesn't know who his best players are.
Femi B, UK

Open Quote
The Nigerian FA should not be in a hurry to apportion blame by sacking the coach or disbanding the tea
Close Quote
Wale Adewumi,USA
What has always been lacking in the Nigerian team in its various incarnations are a solid organisation and tactical discipline, the passion and enough commitment to work for each other on the pitch and focus. A foreign coach - Terry Venables (England) would be an excellent choice - is urgently needed to introduce these qualities into our football mentality.
Clive Nnamdi-Johnson, United Kingdom

The Nigerian FA should not be in a hurry to apportion blame by sacking the coach or disbanding the team, rather they should take stock of their mistakes since Jo Bonfere was appointed over Westerhof in November 1999. That singular action has led us to this mess we found ourselves in.
Wale Adewumi,USA

That other Nigerians believe that this team will build on this and rise to the occasion in 2006 gives me a lift but the pain is still there. Most of our big stars weren't picked, but they shouldn't fire chief Ongbinde but give him support - let us learn from this defeat and go and play for the honour of all Nigerians.
Thomas, South Africa

Open Quote
There should be no experimentation in the World Cup
Close Quote
Pat Ezeadichie, New York

A disappointing outcome - contributing factors were dubious team selection, an unfortunate grouping, a lack of morale and encouragement from the coaching team, and above all a flawed defensive line-up. However, on a positive note, there does appear to be more raw talent flowing into the national side. The world cup will surely be within the Super Eagles claws in times to come.
Augustine, Nigeria

It is very unfortunate that a country that is blessed with so many talented footballers cannot advance to the second round in a world cup tournament. The problem is not the players but whoever makes the decisions in terms of selection and training. I am disappointed, to say the least. Could anybody in NFA let us know the reason(s) why Sunday Oliseh and Finidi George are not in the team.The lesson to learn here is that there should be no experimentation in the World Cup
Pat Ezeadichie, New York

The world and Africa should look out for this Nigerian team in 2004 African Nations Cup and the Olympics. For the first time since 94 Nigeria had players that where proud to wear the national jersey. SO watch out for this lads.
Joe Joe Ngassa, USA

Open Quote
I do not care if they have got a bad attitude - you still pick your best team.
Close Quote
Ayo, u.k
Once again a manifestation of the Nigerian malady on the field of play, one-step forward, two steps backwards. I think Onigbinde is out of touch with reality from the beginning. We lost in the nations cup because we met a better team, all he should have done is to try and fix the weakness, or leave it if not fixable, as opposed to experimenting with inexperienced players. This is a national disgrace, and this job is not yet for Nigerian coaches, they lack the experience.
O. Olusola /USA.

Agali, Oliseh, Finidi, Babangida, Oruma. They are brilliant players, I respect the manager but the purpose of the World Cup is to pick your best 23. I do not care if they are badly disciplined or if they have got bad attitude - you still pick your best team. I really like the manager but his team right now is the team to watch for 2006.
ayo, u.k

We Nigerians for the first time in recent times saw our national team with some purposefulness, there was focus, concentration, determination and direction. I proudly announce to the world that we building a team of the future.
Patrick 'Afiaziam-,Nigeria

Open Quote
We had so much hope in Nigeria that one of the Africa teams would do something at this World Cup
Close Quote
Jiyane J, Zimbabwe
Well the Nigerian national team made their mark for participating in the World Cup for the third time, credit should be given to the players for making an impact in the tournament.

The boys tried but luck was not in their favour, all they need to do is to go back to the drawing board, and put the lessons they have learnt in the World Cup into practice for a better outing next time, coz the qualifying series of the Nations Cup is around the corner.
Olusoji AB Felix, Nigeria

For me, this is a new beginning, the dawn of a new era. We have a bunch of young talents who can conquer the World in 2006 if they can be kept together. Our teams henceforth will be a group of true representatives, fighting to the last even in defeat. In our losses to Argentina and Sweden we were never disgraced.
Yomi Alli, Nigeria

The performance of Nigeria let us down. We had so much hope in Nigeria that one of the Africa teams would do something at this World Cup. It was really disappointing.

Now we have our hopes on Senegal, who seem to be doing what was expected from Nigeria. Also, Cameroon, and South Africa are still in the running. We are yet to see what Tunisia can do, even though things point otherwise.
Jiyane J, Zimbabwe/Mexico

Whether you win or lose, you should learn something from it and use it next time.
Solomon Ochola, Uganda

Open Quote
Keep your heads up and make sure you beat England
Close Quote
Ikenna Onyegbula,Canada
I predicted this outcome from the moment they selected their team. It's obvious that if you cannot make an impression in the African Nations Cup, there is definitely something wrong with your team.

The coach is probably the most inexperienced coach in the tournament. Taribo West does not even play for any team. As for Okocha and Kanu, only an African team can still play these guys.
Malik, USA

Nigeria has many skilful footballers who are great to watch. As a neutral who saw the Sweden-Nigeria game, I think it's problem is a mental one. In the last 15 minutes, you could see the team played like they didn't believe they could get the equaliser.

The chances were there but they didn't score. Even the coach and staff looked dispirited. England should easily qualify in the last group game. Pity.
C.B.Ong,Singapore

Kanu should not play against England. He is overrated. Taribo, I feel sorry for you after your hard efforts. Keep your heads up and make sure you beat England. On the whole I am proud of my country.

Oliseh and Babangida should have been on the team, and use Adepoju and Lawal next time. Good luck in future Nigeria, and Lord bless.
Ikenna Onyegbula,Canada

Today marks the begining of a new dawn for Nigerian Football, where do we go from here? Rise or sink? We shall see. Personally I think we need to find a replacement for Okocha, Babayaro, Kanu, West and Shorounmu not because of lack of skills but for reason of age and age alone.

We also need to get a coach who is not only a technician but a motivator too - this was clearly lacking in the personalities of Shaibu and Onigbinde. Plus a few other organisational changes at NFA.
Alex Oni-Williams, Nigeria/UK

Let's stop deceiving ourselves and tell it all the way its supposed to be. Any football follower could predict the results of Nigeria's matches in the tournament. Nigerian fans cannot hope or wish to win a World Cup match with that team.

Open Quote
Let's face it, and I said it, that the team is a joke
Close Quote
Tony, Morocco
Let's face it, and I said it, that the team is a joke and the coaching crew don't know it because they do not know what they are supposed to do. Sorry fellow fans. Let's lick our wounds and hope for another four long years.
Tony, Morocco

Well, lets us not be discouraged now because we lost, but let see how we can develop a team that will represent us few years from now. But it`s good to blend two or three new players with a lot of old players on a team - especially a midfielder.
Peter Diggs,Liberia

Too bad about Nigeria. They are a big disappointment like Colombia was in 1994. Too much hype and not enough delivery. Maybe next time.
Muki Ndabambi, Zimbabwe

Another disappointing campaign for Nigeria. When will the heartache end? Okocha, Kanu, Babayaro - what a waste of talent. These players lack the passion to represent their country and should not be invited to play again for Nigeria. Nigeria has always promised so much and delivered very little.
Abiola, UK

This is not the time to trade blames. I thought the guys did their best under the circumstance. Lets be frank, our group was not called the group of death for nothing.
Ogugua Osakwe,Nigeria

It's stupid to say we are building a team when you are going for the finals. You want us to wait for another four years and to be told you are building a team at the last minute again. The coach and NFA should go they have betrayed Africa. No experience, no midfield, no strikers.
Masauso Malata,Zambia

Open Quote
Nigeria has always promised so much and delivered very little
Close Quote
Abiola, UK

Kudos to the boys! They put in all they've got and we are all proud of you. It is now over to our football administrators to keep this team, build them up into a world class team, surely the talent is there.
Tunde Omopariola, UK

Nigeria had got it all wrong from the very start. Thinking we could raise a team of young, naive players in three months and still make an impression was rather appalling.

The team oozed inexperience, naivety and technical incompetence. There was no excuse for Sweden to beat us! Leaving out our most experienced players from the start was our biggest mistake, we really needed them. I pity us when we play England.
Rotimi, UK / Nigeria

Can I just say that Nigeria is not a defeated side, we played a good game today and sadly we ended up being knocked out of the World Cup We have a nice young team and we made no mistakes. Nigeria will be back in another four years.
Temmy, Nigeria

Nigeria is a good side; with young talented players that could rule the world. Our early elimination shows that despite our individual football player talent, we still lack a coach that could blend this talent together.
Olu Dare, Nigeria

Nigeria had it coming from the very beginning. It's stupid to say we are building a team when you are going to the finals. You want us to wait for another four years and to be told you are building a team at the last minute again. The coach and NFA should go, they have betrayed Africa. Oliseh was right, they are wrong. This is the worst and weakest Nigerian squad we have seen for ten years. No experience, no midfield, no strikers, no nothing.
Masauso Malata, Zambia

Open Quote
Nigeria is not a defeated side, we played a good game today and sadly we ended up being knocked out of the World Cup
Close Quote
Temmy, Nigeria

These boys are a team for the future. I really appreciate their effort; they gave their best including the old players. We were not disgraced.
Abass Hakeem, Holland

They put in all they've got and we are all proud of you. It is now over to our football administrators to keep this team and build them into a world class team, surely the talent is there. Remember France did not even qualify to play at the 1994 World Cup because they were not good enough but they kept their team, built on what they had and came back to win in 1998. We are all behind you, please finish it on a high against England - at least I will be able to show my face at work!!!
Tunde Omopariola, UK

Nigeria had got it all wrong from the very start. Thinking we could raise a team of young, naive players in three months and still make an impression was rather appalling. The team oozed inexperience, naivety and technical incompetence. There was no excuse for Sweden to beat us!

Leaving out our most experienced players from the start was our biggest mistake. We really needed them, that's the plain truth. For now, Nigeria should not be regarded as giants of African soccer anymore. Our era has passed. We are now more or less a regular African side. I pity us when we play England.
Rotimi, UK/Nigeria

My respect to the Nigerian players after today's game. Sadly it seems it's still hard for them to fully play together as a team, because with the players in Nigeria's squad they should be absolutely deadly. Our luck though, and now I look forward to the remaining games. My guess? A loss for England against Argentina, then a draw for Sweden against Argentina. Sorry England, looks hard for you...
Stefan Larsson, Sweden

Open Quote
Leaving out our most experienced players from the start was our biggest mistake
Close Quote
Rotimi, UK/Nigeria
Unfortunately Nigeria have run out of luck and we are out of the competition. The lessons we need to learn are: do not disband a team three months before a major competition and always use our best players.
Abhulime Ehiagwina, Nigeria

The Nigerian players lacked the concentrated passion expected from ANY team participating in a World Cup tournament. I still regret taking a day off to watch the match.
Fidix, Germany

True to his wishes, our coach lost all matches so far and won `discipline`. What a happy man he must be! Bravo to the Super Eagles. Better luck next time
Oge, Nigeria (living in Germany)

Now that we are out of the World Cup, we MUST start planning for the next one. We should sack Onigbinde and replace him with a top European manager who should then be given licence to manage without interference. Kanu, Okocha, Lawal, West will not and should not figure in the next World Cup and the future team should start to play together on a regular basis.
Z,UK

Why was Aghaghowa not given the ball more often? Why was there no sign of life from the coaching crew? Those players needed to be fired up to win. These are questions that need to be answered. Nigeria need to rebuild the team with players whose sole intention is to win. Past glory does not win games. Other teams do not care about how good you used to be. It is the present that counts.

Open Quote
Unfortunately Nigeria have run out of luck
Close Quote
Abhulime Ehiagwina, Nigeria
All my support now is for Senegal, a country that plays like they really want to make a mark. Rooting for Nigeria has caused me enough heartache and sleeplessness. Perhaps Liberia would have done better at representing Africa in this global phenomenon.
Andrew Madueke, Nigerian in USA

I think Nigerian players lacked the experience and organisation to cope at this level. But the boys will grow and with the talent and skill they have in abundance, they may go places in future. Had Oliseh been on the field there probably would have been better organisation.Well done boys!
Tony Ishiekwene, Nigerian born

I think it is time we have a rethink about our team. Our play is still lacking in the mid field. We tend to give our opponents plenty of space while they close us down when we have possession. A new technical coach will also not go amiss.
Femi Osisanwo, England

Well..at least this will shock the Nigerian FA into building up a credible team instead of relying on the old ways of jumbling talented players and hoping for some 'explosive show of skill' to get us through. Doesn't work any more people!
Clifford, Nigeria/UK


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