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AFCON 2024: Optimism in the midst of pessimism

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Citizens all around the country are filled with excitement and hope as the tournament goes on because we firmly believe that Nigeria has a chance to win the AFCON

By Isah Aliyu Chiroma

The country has been filled with joy and happiness with tiny ray of hope, with the African Cup of nations. It was first held in 1957, and it has been held every two years since 1968 and switching to odd-numbered years in 2013. The number of participants in the final tournament reached 16 in 1998, but Nigeria withdrew, reducing the field to 15, and the same happened with Togo’s withdrawal in 2010. On 20 July 2017, the African Cup of Nations was moved from January to June and expanded from 16 to 24 teams.

Egypt is the most successful nation in the cup’s history, winning the tournament seven times. For African nations, AFCON has been a medium to portray the professionalism of sports among African nations. Nigeria has been three-time winners, lifting the trophy in 1980, 1994 and 2013.

The Nigerian football team’s tenacity, talent, and willpower are demonstrated by their run to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Citizens all around the country are filled with excitement and hope as the tournament goes on because we firmly believe that Nigeria has a chance to win the AFCON.

It’s been decades since we last clench the cup, and now, it seems we are getting it back gain. It has been a happy moment, and we are in full anticipation, rooting for our dear country to bring the cup back home.

First and foremost, Nigeria has accomplished a great deal by making it to the semi-finals. It demonstrates the team’s capacity to succeed in a cutthroat field of dominant African football teams. It goes without saying that overcoming obstacles, tactical skill, and individual moments of brilliance are necessary to get to the semi-finals. The nation unites behind the Super Eagles as they progress, appreciating the commitment and diligence that have led them to this pivotal moment.

An important turning point in Nigeria’s AFCON campaign occurred during the semi-finals. It is a test of character, teamwork, and resilience under duress rather than just a competition for a spot in the championship. The expectation among the players, coaches, and football community as a whole is for Nigeria to win. There should be joy and pride in the country with the possibility of making it to the championship game.

The excitement and expectation are now increased by the thought of Nigeria winning the AFCON. Such a victory has importance that goes beyond sports; it becomes a source of pride and unanimity for a country that frequently faces a variety of obstacles. Football has a special power to bring people together by bridging gaps and encouraging a sense of shared identity. Nigerians of all stripes would feel a feeling of pride and accomplishment if their country won the AFCON.

However, the journey to winning AFCON is not without challenges. The remaining match demand unwavering focus, strategic brilliance, and physical prowess.

On the other hand, exorbitant departure costs, inflation, and rising prices. One cannot expect much from a man who is hungry, and this has been one of the hardest times ever in trying the theory of change.

Nigeria needs transformation, but measures to mitigate those risks must be taken before putting some of those initiatives into action. What would it cost to leave Nigeria, then?

Gone are the days when citizens can afford Nigeria’s cost of living. When families can afford three square meals daily. As soon as the government hears our pleas, it raises our voices and acts. The days of inexpensive, safe travel are long gone. The days of Nigeria, where students could study for free without the fear of school fees increment.

The prospect of Nigeria winning AFCON has already made an indelible mark, fostering unity, pride, and a renewed belief in the power of Nigerian football. As we watch with keen attention the finals tomorrow, our thoughts and prayers are with the super eagles. And to this moment, they have fly so high, making everyone proud, even when n our stomach makes sounds of hunger. The country needs urgent actions towards reducing the cost of being a Nigerian

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