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Nigeria’s friendly game against Liberia was nothing but a shitshow to soothe the ego of a self-serving president

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The NFF have added another string of shame to their bow by espousing the fawning ceremony of Weah.

The friendly between Liberia and Nigeria ended about an hour before midnight and for the many Nigerians who didn’t watch the game, they didn’t miss much.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) called it an ‘international friendly’, although it was nothing but hogwash and an absurd attempt by President George Weah of Liberia to have fun kicking football while inconveniencing everyone.

The game was to honour Weah and to formally retire the No.14 jersey of the one-time Ballon d’Or winner and former FIFA World Footballer of the Year.  Even more nonsensical, the 51-year-old Weah led out the Lone Stars of Liberia against the Super Eagles and started the game alongside his former teammate, 48-year-old James Debbah.

But this is not an out-of-the-blue act of self-serving from Weah who divided Liberia over his decision to confer his country’s top honour on his former coaches Arsene Wenger and Claude Le Roy, the two Frenchmen who gave his football career an early boost.

There is nothing wrong for Weah to engage in such fanfare-a friendly game in his honour and to formally retire his No.14-after all he is not just a Liberian or African football legend, he is a legend by world football standards.

But the NFF have added another string of shame to their bow by espousing the fawning ceremony of Weah, a well known smug.

It is of no importance how much the NFF collected from Liberia for that game and how much they will pay the players, using the Super Eagles for that friendly was an outright disrespect for Nigerian football.

It would have been more fitting to celebrate Weah on that Tuesday night in Monrovia with Nigerian legends like Kanu Nwankwo, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Taribo West and Sunday Oliseh on the pitch.

That would have been the rational thing to do, not inconvenience professional footballers, some of whom play at the highest level of football for such a vain game.

Gernot Rohr needs games to work out his ideas on the Super Eagles. They still play like a disjointed unit and need games against quality oppositions to get better, not against a 51-year-old pot-bellied President.

September 12, 2018

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