Home Away from Home with Abi Adeboyejo
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When this tiresome World Cup started, I knew I was in for a boring few weeks with my husband and son glued to the TV. I am not a fan of football and will probably never be. In fact, their preparation for the big event started a week before the opening ceremony when I found my husband testing the abandoned VCR to ensure he could record the Super Eagles’ games and some of the other teams he supported. Things were made worse at work because I share an office with two Englishmen who are also crazy about football. As soon as the tournament started, they spent a good few minutes every morning analysing matches from the night before.
Me, I had other things to focus on. I tried to catch up on all the programmes I had missed on BBC iplayer, 4OD and ITV player. I retired to my room with my trusty laptop to watch all my favourite shows and enjoyed tubs of frozen yogurt without my husband telling me that I was eating too much sugar. I also used the opportunity to discuss issues with my husband. When I say ‘discuss’ I mean I just spoke while he watched football and I stopped talking after he grunted an answer or waved me away, eyes still glued to the TV. He doesn’t know it yet but he has given me permission to buy a scarily expensive ‘aso-ebi’ for my friend’s 40th birthday party. I must make sure it is sewn before the World Cup is over so that there’ll be no talk of returning it when he sees it.
I know everyone’s disappointed that Nigeria’s been kicked out of the World Cup, but we really shouldn’t feel so bad. I am still proud of our boys because they hung in there a bit longer than some other countries, like England. The way the English team was promoted by the media here in the UK was sensational. You would think they’d won the World Cup several times instead of last winning it in 1966. My English friends had the audacity to criticise Nigeria’s match with Iran, but by that time England had already lost a match. At least our boys made it to the last 16. I don’t know much about football, but if greater footballing countries got kicked out before us then we can still hold our head a bit higher than those countries.
There’s always the next tournament to prepare for. I know that for many football pundits reading this, our boys could have done better. I can’t imagine how Joseph Yobo felt after he scored the own goal, but there’s no use blaming him (I actually watched that part!). We were already on the way out by the time it happened. I don’t know why Stephen Keshi resigned, but I hope we get another good coach who will help make the team better.
So while everyone’s criticising our Super Eagles performance at the World Cup, I want to thank them for doing better than England. At least I’ll have something to rub in my English friends’ faces when next I see them. It is not often that we are better than England at something and I am going to milk this mini victory for as long as I can, or until my friends tell me to shut up.