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Bad pitch cost Eagles’ defeat, says Ebi Egbe

By Editor   |   13 June 2017   |   4:18 am  

South African attacker Vilakazi Sibusiso (L) vies for ball with Nigeria’s Shehu Abdullahi during the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifyer football match between South Africa and Nigeria at Goodswill Akpabio International Stadium in the southern city of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on June 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

The state of the Godswill Akpabio Stadium pitch cost the Super Eagles victory in their Cameroon 2019 African Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa, FIFA match agent and stadium facility expert, Ebi Egbe has declared.

Egbe had before the match warned that Nigeria’s foreign legion would always find it difficult playing at home, no thanks to the seriously undulated bad playing pitches in the country.

“I saw the problem Eagles faced in Uyo coming. The interviews I granted the media before the game can attest to that. The way the players express themselves in Europe is not the same way they would when they come home because of the undulated pitches we have here in Nigeria. The Uyo pitch may be the best in the country today, but it is not anywhere near the zero undulated pitches our players are used to in Europe in their various club sides. We can clearly see that the players find it difficult to adjust after one or two days of training on the undulated Uyo pitch. For us, to get the best out of our players, we must invest in good pitches,” Egbe said.

Egbe said home-based players would have done better in the game against South Africa because they would have been playing on a familiar terrain. “What we can do is to forget about using our foreign based players when we are playing at home until we fix our pitches. I have consistently said the biggest problem facing our football is that of the playing turfs. If the North African countries and even a country like Congo and Gabon can get it right, I don’t see why Nigeria can’t. Constructing good pitches, the kind of pitches we see in Europe is not rocket science.



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