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Why Sunday Oliseh Fears Super Eagles Could Crumble After AFCON Success

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Following Nigeria’s second-place finish at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, former Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh, has expressed fear that the usual negative trend of the national team may occur again.

Oliseh made this assertion during an interview with Channels TV.

 

Despite boasting some of the best players on the continent plying their trade in Europe, the Eagles have often failed to live up to their reputation and have the habit of experiencing downward spirals after impressing at the AFCON.

 

Impressed with the team’s achievement at the last AFCON in Ivory Coast, Oliseh fears that history may repeat itself again.

 

“We are at a dangerous point as a football country. After my generation stopped, Nigeria stopped winning and became irrelevant. We started celebrating ‘golden bronze’. But (Stephen) Keshi was able to come up and make up a team that won the 2013 AFCON,” Oliseh told Channels TV.

 

“However, immediately after that, we did not qualify for the 2015 and 2017 AFCON. Even though in 2015, the coach, in my opinion, is still one of the top coaches that we’ve ever had. So, we had a nosedive then, which is something I am afraid that may happen again, and that is something we have to fight against.”

 

After winning the 1994 edition of the AFCON, the Eagles missed the following tournament in South Africa in 1996 due to political tension between Nigeria and the host country. Following their boycott, Nigeria was banned by the Confederation of African Football for the 21st edition of the African football showpiece in Burkina Faso in 1998.

 

The country jointly hosted the 2000 edition with Ghana and finished in second place after losing to Cameroon on penalties in the final.

 

At the 2002, 2004 and 2006 editions, the Eagles finished in third-place.

 

After missing out on the podium in 2008, the Eagles again finished in third place at the 2010 edition in Angola, before failing to qualify for the 2012 championship in Equatorial Guinea.

 

Under the guidance of the late Stephen Keshi, the Eagles won the AFCON again for the first time after 19 years.

 

Again, the team failed to build on their success by failing to qualify for the 2015 and 2017 AFCON tournaments.

 

The three-time African champions won bronze at the 32nd edition hosted by Egypt in 2019 and stepped up in Abidjan to finish second.

 

Credit: punchng.com

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