2014 in Pictures: African Champions Waiting to Be Dethroned

Eagles not so Super in CHAN

Azubuike Egwuekwe Tussles for the Ball With A Moroccan Player In a CHAN 2014 Match.
Azubuike Egwuekwe Tussles for the Ball With A Moroccan Player In a CHAN 2014 Match.

Nigeria Super Eagles B-Team defeated Zimbabwe to clinch the third-place playoff at the 2014 African Nations Championship in Cape Town, South Africa.

Yobo celebrates a century of appearances for Nigeria

Joseph Yobo Leads the Super Eagles Out of the Tunnel During a World Cup Game in Brazil. Image: Getty.
Joseph Yobo Leads the Super Eagles Out of the Tunnel During a World Cup Game in Brazil. Image: Getty.

Yobo reached 100 Nigeria cap landmark a World Cup 2014 second round clash with France in Brasilia, surpassing Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu- the other two Nigerians to have featured in three World Cup finals.

France eliminate Nigeria in Brazil

Super Eagles Ends Their World Cup 2014 Campaign With a 2-0 Second Round Loss to France. Fifa via Getty Image.
Super Eagles Ends Their World Cup 2014 Campaign With a 2-0 Second Round Loss to France. Fifa via Getty Image.

Having opened their 2014 World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw with Iran, Nigeria defeated debutantes Bosnia-Hercegovina 1-0 and lost 3-2 to finalists Argentina in the remainder of their group games.

The Super Eagles failed to advance beyond the last 16, following a 2-0 defeat by France at the Estadio Nacional.

Off-the-pitch crises rocked Nigerian football

Global suspension and threats of impending bans by the world football governing body over government interference halted the Super Eagles progress.

NFF Office in Abuja on Fire.
NFF Office in Abuja on Fire.

Part of the headquarters of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) was gutted by a mysterious fire at the early hours of Wednesday, August 20.

Conundrum in the NFF as factional tussle for the leadership of the fraternity rages on, much to the distaste of Fifa.

Key headlines from the weeks long miniseries; the NFF Drama:

Fifa Ban NFF as a Result of Government Interference

NFF Drama: Minister Insists on August 26 Elective Congress

Fifa Rejects August 26 NFF Poll, Warns Nigeria Toy With Another Ban

NFF Crisis: Giwa Handed September 8 Quit Notice By Fifa

Amadu Back in Office as Sanity Gradually Returns to NFF

NFF Extra-Ordinary Congress Holds in Warri on Saturday

NFF Elects Amaju Pinnick New President

Senate Legalises NFF as a Statutory Body

Appeals Committee Chief Annuls NFF Polls

Fifa Upholds NFF Polls

Back to ‘Headless Chickens’

Mikel Obi Tackles a Sudan Player During an Afcon Qualifier in Sudan. Image: AFP.
Mikel Obi Tackles a Sudan Player During an Afcon Qualifier in Sudan. Image: AFP.

Nigeria’s defense of their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) title failed to advance into the group stages in next year’s Equatorial Guinea finals, courtesy of a disappointing run in the qualifiers.

The Super Eagles lost their opening match in the final qualification tournament to Congo in Calabar on Saturday, September 6. That was followed by a goalless draw in Cape Town with South Africa (pictured below), defeats to Sudan in Khartoum (pictured above), victory over Sudan and Congo in Abuja and Kinshasa respectively, and a 2-2 draw with the Bafana Bafana at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium in Uyo in November.

Nigeria failed to progress to the finals after managing eight points from six games to come third in their pool, behind group winners South Africa and runners-up Congo.

Super Eagles Forward Gbolahan Salami in a Heated Scuffle With Bafana Bafana Players at the Cape Town Stadium.
Super Eagles Forward Gbolahan Salami in a Heated Scuffle With Bafana Bafana Players at the Cape Town Stadium.

Keshi the ‘Big Boss’

Super Eagles coach proved he is that figurative ‘cat with nine lives’ in 2014 when, despite failing to guide Nigeria into the group stages of the 2015 Afcon, he retained his job.

Forget rumours about the ex-Mali and Togo coach throwing in the towel after Nigeria’s ouster at the Brazil World Cup in the summer, Keshi was in charge of the national team through the Afcon 2015 qualifying series and was sacked at some point, but made his way back.

Keshi and the team’s coaching staff were shown the exit the day after Nigeria’s 3-1 win over Sudan in a move to avoid an impending catastrophe, as the country had only managed a win from four qualifying matches.

Jonathan Ordered that Keshi be Reinstated as Head Coach of the Super Eagles. Image: Getty.
Jonathan Ordered that Keshi be Reinstated as Head Coach of the Super Eagles. Image: Getty.

But following the intervention of the Nigerian President and a plea by Chairman of NFF Technical Committee, Amodu Shuaibu, 56; Keshi got his job back and the rest is history as they say.

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