4th November, 2018
By Muhammad Ajah
I have prepared some Olympic games for candidates of the 2019 Presidential polls and their parties which are supposed to follow all the formalities from the opening to the closing ceremonies and the award of medals to the winners, as well as consolidation prizes. There are also football contests amongst the candidates with their party members. I crave the indulgence of my readers to start with the final match of the football competition because it is going to be the most exciting of the national event.
Other matches may come in replay forms. So, my readers should expect, if possible, the following sports competitions amongst the candidates in order to enjoy the series: opening ceremony of the Olympic, races – 100 meters, 1,500 meters and relay, long jump, high jump, short-put, discus, javelin, lawn tennis, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, rugby, swimming, chess, scrabble, soccer and the closing ceremony/medal award.
If you are a football lover or one who loves Nigeria and her political and sports future, just take out 90 minutes from your time to watch this tough but determinant match written on papers. I wish I could have the opportunity of having all the events of the match printed. I know 90 minutes is a long time whose events cannot be contained in print media. So, I will be dramatic in my comments. And I will employ analytic styles of Nigeria’s football legend, Segun Odegbami, popularly called mathematical Odegbami by his lovers.
I expect that my readers will be calculative to decipher some underpins in the match. As the match boss, I have decided that each goal will be counted one million points. And the final match is between the Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Here we go. But pardon me if I default in the game’s terminologies and techniques.
Ladies and gentlemen! My dear football lovers in Nigeria and across the world! Good evening and God bless you! You are welcome to the National Stadium at Plot 436, Zambezi Crescent, Maitama in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. This is the final match of the 2019 Presidential Olympic football tournament. You will recall that the tournament has been very interesting with some surprises. 91 clubs or so have participated in it, but unfortunately many matches witnessed walkovers due to the inability of the clubs to meet up with the requirements after their registrations. The Olympic management will review this callous attitude and penalize the defaulting clubs accordingly.
This final match is between the two strongest teams, the defending champion, the APC FC and the runner-up of the last tournament, the PDP FC. The stadium is very neat and fitted to international standard. It is the largest stadium in the African continent with the capacity about 190 million. It has been a very beautiful day. The weather is calm and soothing. The match is a decisive one as its outcome will determine the unity, peace and progress of the spectators in particular and the football lovers across the continent and the world.
Every country of the world looks on to this game with keen interest. World leaders are optimistic about it. The two teams, assuredly, have international supporters. On the other hand, most of them have shown, like football lovers, particular interest in the defenders due to the national and international accolades they have gathered in the past few years and the confidence they have instilled in their supporters. Since their debut into the tournament, their consistent fair play and tolerance in defeat, as well as magnanimity in victory has remained a point of reference. That has endeared them more to their fans and people of the world.
The defenders are full of sports experts and players in world top clubs. The runner-up is equally up to the task, having won the tournament four times in the past. As you can see, the spectators are carrying either the broom or the umbrella. I will discuss the strength and significance of the two protection tools in my future features. I think that these tools were carefully chosen by their managers who are sports strategists. Ladies and gentlemen, I am sure that you will enjoy this wonderful crucial tough clash between the two titans.
The APC’s team is with the green-white-blue jersey with red short and stocking. The jersey and short are decorated with the team’s logo, the broom. The PDP’s team is with the red jersey, white short and green stocking. They are decorated with the team’s logo, the umbrella. Both teams are warming up before the national anthem and other formalities. The spectators are all full of expectation for this spectacular national event. The security is well organized as you can see the police, all other paramilitary personnel including the road safety, fire service and staff of the national emergency management agency (NEMA) positioned in strategic areas to ensure safety of lives and property as well as orderliness from the spectators.
I can see the head coach of the APC Oshiomhole, assistant coach I. Abdulkadir, technical assistants, E. Omachukwu, H. Ekpe, Victor, M. Salisu and Lawal Shuaibu, fitness coach Nduka Ayongo, goalkeeping coaches, A. Shuaib and E. Ebediro scoutings and physiotherapists A. Bolaji, B. Abdullahi, A. Fanda and B. Ogala. They are seated on the bench with the reserves. I can also see seated the head coach of the PDP Secondus, assistant coach G. Garba, technical assistants Y. Akinwonmi, U. Tsauri, E. Agbo, A. Akobundu, U. Okoye and H. Yakubu, Fitness Coach K. Ologbondiyan, goalkeeping coaches D. Odeyemi and A. Maibasara, scoutings and physiotherapists I. Gerald, A. Adewale, W. Masu and E. Enoidem.
The referee of this match is a well-known no-nonsense sportive gentleman. M. Yakubu is known to be a just and courageous umpire. He is supported by able men and women who have the technical know-how to play justice and give both teams what they get and deserve. B. Zakari, S. Solomon, A. Simbine, A. Nahuche, A. Ogunmola, S. Arfo, M. Mbu, A. Muazu, O. Ibeanu, M. Haruna and M. Lecky are in his team of referees. They are all patriotic, intellectual, professional and reliable. We are very hopeful of a very hitch-free match but full of actions and interesting displays.
We also expect a lot of side attractions. There is stationed near the field a reply device which the referee can consult in any case of difficulty to immediately award a penalty. A penalty will be counted minus 500,000 points. A red card will be minus 200,000 points while a yellow card will attract minus 50,000 points. Hate speech before, during and after the match will attract a penalty of four-year suspension. But we hope as professionals, there should be very few fouls and maybe no penalty. However, it is allowed for any team to appeal against the results according to the governing rules and regulations of the game. Yet, that can only be entertained after the match.
The national flag is towering high in the middle of the flags of the two teams; that of the defending champion on the right and the contender’s on the left. That is from where I am sitting. The ball boys are beautifully donned in green, white and green to match with the national flag. The field is also very neat, covered with synthetic turf in green, white and green colours. Cameras are everywhere around the stadium. Specific cameras are placed behind the goalposts which are also well protected with flexible next to ensure proper record of goals. I give honour to other teams which participated in this tournament. Their beautiful flags are hanging on the poles magnificently arranged by the right-hand side of the stadium, from where I am sitting.
I can see the captains of the APC, C. Amaechi with jersey number 4 and that of PDP, B. Saraki with jersey number 6, carefully watching and monitoring the whole place and waiting for the referee for instructions. Both captains are highly seasoned players. Both contributed immensely to the victory of the defending champion in the last tournament(s), though the PDP captain has been bought over or he decided to return to his former club. There have been serious troubles for the umbrella boys. There have been serious troubles for the broom boys. I will take time to discuss these problems as the match progresses. Notwithstanding, we shall tell you the formations of the teams. We shall also throw lights on the pros and cons of the teams. While the match goes on, we shall find time to give insights into the chances of the duo. (The other parts of the commentary will follow. Stay tuned to the end of this interesting decisive match!)
Muhammad Ajah is an advocate of humanity, peace and good governance in Abuja. E-mail [email protected]