Omokaro counsels Super Eagles’ players on patriotism
Former international defender, Bright Omokaro, has counselled the current Super Eagles’ players on the need to be patriotic on national duty, saying that making special sacrifices could help them to succeed in difficult times.
Omokaro said the current Super Eagles should emulate the level of passion and commitment shown by their predecessors on the field of play, adding that talent alone does not guarantee success.
Reminiscing on his days in the Super Eagles, Omokaro pointed to the sacrifice he made for the country to excel at the Morocco ‘88 Africa Nations Cup, which earned him the nickname 10-10. He said the incident was one of the greatest sacrifices he made in his football career to ensure Super Eagles won the AFCON semifinal encounter against Algeria in 1988.
Omokaro, who said that in a game of football, a player must sacrifice his personal interest for the greater good, also advised the players to always be positive in all they do.
He also advised the NFF to support the Eagles in full when they resume the World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers.
“In the semifinal match against Algeria at the 1988 Nations Cup, I kicked out an Algerian player to ensure that we were at par with them after one of us had been sent off for rough play. That incident helped the Super Eagles to qualify for the final and a grateful country started calling me 10-10.
“I have no regrets for any situation that happened that day because it was in favour of the country. This is the hallmark of a great footballer.
“In my days I hated losing a game. That is why I deployed every means to help my team win. Nigerian players should emulate this virtue because sometimes in a game of football, someone has to stand out to make a sacrifice, which might turn out to be positive or negative for his team to win a game,” he said.
Omokaro also recalled that at the 2010 World Cup, Luiz Suarez made a sacrifice for his team by using his hand to stop a goal-bound ball by Ghana. He said that singular act helped Uruguay to the semifinal of the World Cup even though he received a red card for stopping the ball with his hand inside the box.