Nigeria International and Heartland FC of Owerri shot-stopper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, has come out to plead with Nigerians that the eagles will make Amend in the future following their inability to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Ezenwa in an exclusive interview with Wakawaka Sports Extra said that he was disappointed that the Super Eagles couldn’t beat Ghana to scale through, however, appealed to Nigerians to forgive them promising that such won’t happen again.
He noted with great displeasure on what it means to miss out on the world’s greatest football fiesta where countries tend to showcase the abundant talents, especially, Nigeria that has over 250 million citizens with talents cut across the world.
He said: “I think I felt disappointed because Nigeria isn’t going be in the World Cup come November 2022 and it’s not a good one because going there is a way to tell the world that your league is doing well and the country has so much talents.
“We will not have 250 million Nigerians with so many talented players outside the world playing and Nigeria is not in the world cup, it’s a big slap to professional footballers.
“One thing I have to tell our beloved fans because I know everybody is angry including me, just as football is sometimes you lose, draw or win. We need to go back to the drawing board and know how to get it right.
“We the Super Eagles of Nigeria have made the mistakes because I’m still part of the team although I wasn’t invited. We apologise to Nigerians that such a thing will never happen again.”
Ezenwa, who got called up into the Super Eagles in 2015 by Sunday Oliseh and was subsequently part of the team that made it to the Russia 2018 World Cup, said that goalkeepers are bound to mistakes, especially in dicey moments, but pleaded for calm that they will bounce back to top form.
“I think evey department has their coach and when we play as goalkeepers we are bound to face these challenges because vividly in the world cup 2018, De Gea was in the top shape and he conceded a cheap goal from Ronaldo.
“It can happen to any goalkeeper but nobody prays it happens in a dicey period like this, maybe to cause the country not to go to the next stage or go to the world cup. They are my brothers and I felt for them because nobody is above mistakes.
“We always live to learn from our mistakes. One thing about Football, criticism must be there. I remember once I was criricised and it made me stronger.
“I don’t think it’s the end of the road for them, rather, it is the time for them to know that no matter the situation of things, they have to move forward because that is what makes you a goalkeeper at the challenging time, you still keep your heads up and move on with life.
“My best wishes to them is to put it behind them and move on because they are young goalkeepers and the future is still bright for them.”
The Heartland dependable goalkeeper who produced outstanding performances as Nigeria avoided defeats against Algeria, Zambia and Cameroon in the four matches he played during the qualifiers for the Russia 2018 World Cup, added that team work makes things easier noting that it’s time to go back to the drawing board and seek for ways to have an improved outing in the future
“I remember during the qualifiers in 2017 when I was called upon to man the post, I think I handed over everything to God firstly, because one thing about this business is believing and having Faith in God.
“You might the best team but when there is no luck in the team, it might cause you qualification. You might not have the best team but when there is solidarity, love and understanding in the team, you will see doing well.
“Today Super Eagles won’t be in the world cup, we just have to go to the drawing board and we know where the lapses came out from.
“This is not the time to apportion blame to anybody but we just have to move on with life because life is all about ups and downs. We learn from our mistakes and pray it never occurs again.”