Factors that will determine winner of AFCON 2023
Published By: Paul Dada
By Bola Dada
I listened to a report from Abidjan from someone who will be at the 60,000 capacity Alassane Quattara stadium, Abidjan where the final of the African Cup of Nations will take place on Sunday tonight between the Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire and the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
What struck me the most in the report is that multitudes of Ivorians in their orange jerseys went to various churches this morning to pray for the victory of their team. This got me thinking and somehow also laughing inside.
Nigerian pastors are also praying, prophesying and speaking in tongues. If these two countries are praying to different gods, then whose god (or group of gods) will triumph? If they are praying to the same God, whose prayer will God answer and who should God disappoint? These questions come to mind since some people believe a football game is not determined on the football field.
This is what I think: Football elicits so much passion in most people. It elicits too much emotional frenzy in most people so much they get out of control. This is why people react in so many ways. All the prayers are just part of the frenzy. The speaking in tongues is just meaningless drama. It adds nothing to nothing.
The match, like all football matches will be determined on the pitch. The players and the coaching crews are professionals doing their jobs. A football match of this magnitude where the teams are evenly matched will come down to fine margins. These margins will be influenced by:
1. Mental strength of the players
2. Tactical prowess of the manager
3. Tactical discipline by the players
4. The degree of the influence of the home fans
5. The extent to which mistakes are avoided
6. The extent to which mistakes are punished
7. What you do during your own period of ascendancy
Let the screams continue!
- Ghana sacks coach Chris Hughton after exit from AFCON
- Tactical switch earned us victory over Cote d ‘Ivoire— Finidi
- How Elephants will cage Super Eagles – Cote d’Ivoire coach
Let the noises roar!
Let the good wishes be loudly expressed!
It’s all part of the football excitement. However, never forget it’s just a game in the end. So whatever happens, calm down!
This simple age long quote will help: “hope for the best, prepare for the worst”.
Hopefully, we shall celebrate the Super Eagles triumph.
Bola Dada is a Public Relations professional and an ardent football follower