Tonight the Golden Eaglets will play their final Group B match at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Brasilia against Australia and millions of Nigerians just cannot wait to finally see winger Abba Bichi in action after all the controversies his selection has generated.
Bichi is the son of the Director General of the country’s security agency DSS and he was imposed on the Eaglets by embattled top NFF officials, who believe they can curry favour in high places as they continue their desperate battle to evade justice.
On Tuesday, the officials, namely president Amaju Pinnick, vice presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, executive committee member Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’ will appear before Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu to face 17-count charge, ranging from embezzlement to failure to declare their assets.
The NFF leadership is also being investigated by both the ICPC and EFCC on various other “weighty and criminal” corruption allegations.
Their choice personal properties across the country have been seized by ICPC and more is still to come.
Back to the pitch in Brazil, Bichi Junior has so far been an unused substitute for the Eaglets in the comeback wins over Hungary and Ecuador.
Lately, attempts to justify the selection of the 15-year-old forward have fallen flat and were at best laughable.
It included some “micky mouse” video clips of the player, who is now jokingly referred to as a hybrid of both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Defenders of this “political player” have also been quick to reel out statistics from previous tournaments where Nigeria squad members did not enjoy playing minutes at all and so if Bichi does not see action in Brazil, it won’t be an exception.
However, more serious media investigations have revealed Manu Garba does not rate him, but the highly experienced coach had to do the bidding of his bosses or take a walk.
Manu will now be expected to ring changes for tonight’s game against the Aussies as his team have already booked their place in the knockout rounds of the World Cup.
That explains why a whole nation of 200 million football-mad people is now holding its breath to see Bichi Junior finally take his much-awaited bow at Brazil 2019.
The boy himself said he is proud to wear the green-white-green shirt of Nigeria.
He now has the chance to put some real sweat on his jersey No 19 so as to make his father and every other Nigerian also proud of him.
Millions can now not wait for the kick-off time of 9pm in Nigeria.