Wole Otayemi

Ever since our first international engagement in football games in July 1949 , when the Nigeria national football team engaged in the tour of the United kingdom, the national team had evolved over the years.

Interestingly, our team then was christened the Red Devil’s and was donning the red colour. Upon the attainment of Independence in 1960, the team began to play qualifiers for major tournaments under the name Nigeria.

The national team first played in green white green attire at the United Arab Republic now called Egypt at an Olympic game football event qualifier. Even since then, Nigeria has played nearly a thousand games in both the continent and global stage in different age grades and gender.

The country adopted all green attire for the home games while all white was adopted for away games. Although several millions of football fans have over the years expressed misgivings over the use of the jerseys with some ascribing either victory or defeats to the attire donned by the national team.

While some are in support of the white, others prefer to see their darling team play under the Green outfits. Last weekend in Egypt when the Super Eagles lost to Algeria in Cairo, fans were divided over the lackluster performance of the team. While some attributed the defeat to the unpleasant green shirts and pants won by the team, others posited that the technical crew didn’t do enough to deserve victory against their North African rivals.

Most of the fans must have forgotten in a hurry that, the healthy rivalry between the two Nations dated back to the Second edition of the All Africa Games held in Lagos in 1973. With nine wins, five defeats and five draws, coupled with the fact that Nigeria defeated the Algerian team to qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia, the Super Eagles relaxed thinking that the t would be business as usual.

Reverse however, was the case as the Algerian government ferried hundreds of fans in ten aircrafts to Egypt on the eve of the game. Nigeria on the other hand had battled with the federation at the beginning of the tournament over unpaid allowances.

Expectedly, and not surprising, after ninety minutes of play, the scoreline showed the mentally, tactically and physically fit team carrying the day. Now my questions are; Does colour of jerseys have influence on the results or performance of the Nigerian team ?.
The 1990 African Cup of Nations tournament finals match Nigeria lost to Algeria, the Eagles were wearing green and green.

In 1980, the Green Eagles worn all green light out when they defeated their Algerian counterpart three nil in Lagos. Same in 1994, the Eagles were wearing light green stripped with white and beat Zambia from behind.

At Atlanta 1996 finals against Argentina, we were on our green. We defeated Ghana to win Japan 1993 under 17 world cup wearing all green
However, We lost the year 2000 African Cup of Nations tournament to Cameroon on penalties wearing all white, having earlier lost the 1984 African Cup of Nations tournament to same Cameroon in Ivory Coast wearing our White.
Meanwhile, In 2007 the Golden Eaglets won the FIFA Under 17 world Cup in South Korea wearing all of white in Seoul. We won in UAE beating Mexico wearing green and also Mali in 2015 in Chile wearing all green.
When we won our last African Cup of Nations tournament in South Africa, the Super Eagles were on all green.
In China 1985, FIFA Under 16 world Cup, the Golden Eaglets won the tournament beating West Germany by wearing white shirts on green shots.
The Super Falcons won the maiden African Women’s Championship in Abeokuta in 1998, wearing all green. Won the 2000 and 2002 with same all green. They captured the 2004 on white 2006 in green and 2010 on white in Sinaba stadium near Johannesburg, South Africa. They wore while in Namibia 2014 , same in Cameroun. The same thing in 2016 and all green in Ghana.

The flying Eagles lost to Saudi Arabia in 1989 wearing white and green strips against Portugal which they lost, same with another loss in the 2001 Under 17 world Cup tournament to France in Trinidad and Tobago wearing all white
Our Golden Eaglets had lost the Under 17 FIFA World Cup tournament to USSR in Canada 1987 wearing all green. Again, the flying Eagles lost to Argentina in the 2005 World Youth championship in the Netherlands wearing green.

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