Bolarinwa: Japanese are still ruing Olympic Eagles’ ouster from Tokyo 2020


A Japan-based Nigerian tactician, Obalola Bolarinwa has stated that the Nigerian Olympic Eagles won’t have lacked support in any of their games at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics had they managed to pick a ticket to the championship which will now hold next year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nigeria Under 23 side got the ticket to the CAF Under 23 AFCON held in Egypt last year but they were unable to pick one of the three automatic tickets to the Olympics Games after they secured just four points from three Group B matches against Ivory Coast, Zambia and South Africa.

Bolarinwa who holds a UEFA B License currently works in Japan as a coach said in a popular WhatsApp platform, Nigerian Sports Mouthpiece (NSM) and monitored by said that the Japanese were unhappy when they heard Nigeria won’t feature at the next Olympics because they really want to support the West African nation after their own national team.

The Nigerian further disclosed that the Japanese were still in awe as to the reason they lost to the Nigerian Under 23 team at the Rio Olympics four years ago in the first game despite facing the Olympic Eagles who arrived for the game barely 12 hours to it compared with their team that prepared very well for the game.

“It is still a surprise that Nigeria couldn’t pick one of the tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because they won’t have lacked total and comprehensive support from the Japanese and Nigerians resident in the Far East.,” Bolarinwa stressed in an interview.

“The Japanese have started mapping out modalities on how they will support us when they heard that our football team won’t be coming again. They are still ruing that up till now. They are saying so many good things about our Under 23 team.

“They still remembered vividly how we managed to beat them despite the financial constraints we had in the build-up to the Olympics in Rio four years ago. They were expecting their team to run over us in the opening game of the group because we didn’t arrive on time from our camping in the United States.

“They didn’t expect what they saw when the game started. They are still not able to explain what happened up till today because they wrote us off because of the challenges we had before we arrived in Brazil.”

Bolarinwa who worked with Imama Amapakabo in the Olympic Eagles’ ill-fated attempt to qualify for the Olympics and the CHAN competition also pointed out that the same issue which almost crippled the Under 23 side in 2016 reared its ugly head again and contributed majorly to the team’s failure in Egypt and in the CHAN Qualifiers against Togo.

Hear him:” Nigeria team has the potential to conquer the world and the Under 23 Under Imama also possessed such qualities but the team had issues especially with funds and the players couldn’t do much.

“If our preparations have not been interrupted by lack of funds, the players would have gone the extra mile to ensure that the minimum objective of qualifying for the Olympics and the CHAN championship are achieved.”


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