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Afcon 2015: Cost of Eagles absence huge – Onigbinde

BRAZIL, Curitiba : (From top L) Nigeria's team midfielder John Obi Mikel, forward Emmanuel Emenike, defender Kenneth Omeruo, defender Godfrey Oboabona and defender Efe Ambrose (from bottom L) forward Victor Moses, goalkeeper and captain Vincent Enyeama, forward Ahmed Musa, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, midfielder Ramon Azeez and defender Juwon Oshaniwa pose during a Group F football match between Iran and Nigeria at the Baixada Arena in Curitiba at the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO

As Nigeria reels from not being part of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Equatorial Guinea, a competition they won in 2013, former Super Eagles coach, Adegboye Onigbinde has said the cost to the Nigerian football fraternity cannot be quantified.

“Everyone is a loser,” he said “I say this because we have suffered the same fate on many occasions and personally, I can tell you that players, coaches, journalists, television stations and even the soccer image of the country will be in pains during and after the tournament.

“The cost of Nigeria’s absence cannot be quantified, it is huge, especially for young players whose careers hinge on their appearances at the Nations Cup.”

In the same vein, former Nigeria international, Edema Fuludu has said Super Eagles failure to qualify for the tournament could have an adverse effect on the prospect of budding Nigerian football stars.

Fuludu who was part of the Africa Cup of Nations winning side of 1994, said while the world watched the tournament looking for the next big undiscovered talent, no one would be interested in Nigeria, which didn’t augur well for aspiring football stars in the country..

AFCON is typically seen as an opportunity for young talents to show off their ability with the hope of securing lucrative contracts with big teams from around the world.

Fuludu said this was unlikely to happen now until the next tournament, putting the next generation of his nations talents at a disadvantage.
“Economically, our non-presence in this football party in Equatorial Guinea is not good for us, because, it is a bad business for the local league,” He said.

“It will affect the domestic league in a way because the players, who stood to benefit, may be ignored by those who want to take them out to ply their trade in Europe and other parts of the World.

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