BATTLE OF ADDIS ABABA: AN EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT

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–Complete Sports On The Spot Account Of Ethiopia Vs Nigeria World Cup QualifierBy Kayode Ogundare who was in AddisbAbaba:BUILD-UPSince Sunday’s hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Walya Ibex of Ethiopia, there have been so much back-slapping and congratulatory messages going back and forth among Nigerians such that it is possible, in the heady euphoria, to fail to recognize the true heroes of the vital win  and thereby possibly down-play their contribution.As an eye-witness to some of the events that went down before, during and after the match, I can safely narrate the intrigues that surrounded the game and how the Super Eagles snatched victory from the jaws of likely defeat. Because the live match is only of 90 minutes duration, we are quick to judge the team based on output but does anybody care to find out what emotional trauma the players and officials had gone through? Because I was involved, I saw the bigger picture and I’ll like to give a chronological account of how events unfolded and how they affected the overall performance.During the week leading to the game, the whole of Ethiopia but particularly Addis Ababa had been painted in the national colours of green, red and yellow and it was virtually impossible to listen to any newscast on Ethiopian Television (ETV) without one news item or the other relating to the match popping up.PATRIOTISMThe media, as well as the Football Federation (EFF) had successfully sold the propaganda to their people that when the draws were made, Nigerians threw parties all over the country because they felt the Ethiopians were minnows who would be dealt with comfortably.  This succeeded in whipping up the patriotic fervour of both the players and the fans, including the journalists who didn’t conceal their hostility when we …

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