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We Should Respect Mikel, Ighalo Decisions – Garba Lawal

Ex-international, Garba Lawal, explains why the performance of the Super Eagles at the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations cannot be termed good.

Garba Lawal / Photo credit: footballlive.ng
Garba Lawal / Photo credit: footballlive.ng

After finishing third at AFCON, what would you say about the Super Eagles performance in Egypt?

The bronze is better than nothing. We should stop the blaming game as they all win and lose together as a team. We need to forge ahead from now.

As an ex-international, what was your expectation of the team after qualification for the AFCON?

Getting to the semi-finals is not news again, Eagles have been to that position on several occasions.

They have won the silver and bronze especially on several occasions, what we all want is for them to win the gold and the title.

If they say the mandate for them was to get to the semi-finals, then I will say Nigeria is bigger than that.

Whenever we go for any championship, the people back home will want the team to win the trophy especially a competition like the AFCON.

Nobody wants you to get to the semi-finals and say you are out. A lot of people didn’t watch the third place game compared to if the Eagles wwre playing in the final.

Nigerians want the cup but getting the bronze, we will have to take it as that.

The Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick, has announced that the coach of the team, Gernot Rohr, will continue to be in charge, what’s your take on this?

I am not the one that employed him, the NFF will have to come out and say if he will be staying back or not. Our opinion doesn’t count at the moment because they are the one with his contract papers.

Whenever we go for any championship, the people back home will want the team to win the trophy especially a competition like the AFCON. Nobody wants you to get to the semi-finals and say you are out. A lot of people didn’t watch the third place game compared to if the Eagles wwre playing in the final

What could you say about the announcement by Mikel Obi and Odion Ighalo that they are retiring from the national team?

I think both of them are ageing, we should allow them to be. Someone like Ighalo has been getting a lot of sticks but he went to Egypt and scored goals.

He showed that he still has it in him. For Mikel, he has done well for the country and for clubs.

He has been available for more than 10 years and he has given his all for the country.

If someone like him said he wants to call it quit, we should just allow him.

We should not expect the same Mikel of seven or 10 years ago. We should just let the two of them rest and respect their decision.

What does the future hold for the Super Eagles?

We don’t know. We hope to see how they prepare for the next qualifier, but at the moment, we have to wait for the NFF and see their reaction.

As Nigerians, we always go for a championship to win it, but we have the bronze and I will say the team did their best.

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