14 August 2016
It was a mixed bag as some Nigerians in Rio reacted differently to the Dream Team VI 2-0 defeat of Denmark in the soccer event of the ongoing Olympic Games.
While for some, the victory had been enough to roll out the drums, for others, there was need for cautious celebration.
Mitchell Obi, President of the International Sports Press, AIPS-Africa, described the win as “excellent result for Africa.
“Now, I can find joy in the victory in Rio. The boys have lifted the continent. Out of the confusion at the outset, there is a glittering chance of a medal.
“We can celebrate their courage in adversity, their defiance of the odds and their unity of purpose in all patches of the Olympic spirit.’’
Habu Gumel, President of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), said it was great victory. “Let me enjoy this. It was a great effort. The boys have done well. They deserve my respect.’’
However, a few others have chosen to celebrate the victory in a low-key manner as events are now in crunchy situation.
They believe that it was not yet time for full scale celebration as their next opponents, Germany, could prove a hard nut to crack, given that both teams had never met at this level of competition in the past.
Peter Nelson, a Deputy Director at the Sports Ministry said he would reserve celebrations until after the Nigeria-German encounter coming up on Wednesday.
“Let’s still wait a bit so as not to spoil the fun for the national team,’’ he said.
“I am happy they came out forcefully after the depressing news of their protest over unpaid allowances,” said Yussuf Ali, a former captain of the National contingent and currently athletics coach.
For Gabriel Okon, another athletics coach, “the victory has been a soothing balm after some failings in athletics.’’