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 By Colin Udoh

Nasarawa United make history as Nigerian football continues to progress

Nasarawa United's 2-1 win over Kano Pillars last Sunday was so seismic it reverberated around the world.

Not many news items about Nigerian football, certainly not ones concerning the domestic football league, make such a splash, so this was one of massive significance.

Here's why: Kano Pillars were playing at home. Kano Pillars had not lost at home since 2003. That's 12 years or, if you please, 202 games. I dare anyone to show me a club anywhere else in the world with such a record!

Many negative...

 By Colin Udoh

Sunday Oliseh's first Nigeria squad has suspect midfield but fearsome attack

New Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh has named his first squad following his arrival and Stephen Keshi's depature.

Sunday Oliseh's first Nigeria squad selection instantly reflects the philosophy he has espoused from the day he signed on to coach the Super Eagles.

His first group of call-ups from Europe combines continuity from the past squad with youth, balance and more importantly high level football.

Oliseh has kept the core of the team that Stephen Keshi previously worked with. His primary criterion for selection has been playing time and his current squad more than meets the mark on that score.

It is in...

 By Colin Udoh

Remembering a Nigeria legend -- Samuel Okwaraji

For many Nigeria fans, the players of today lack the spirit and patriotism of Samuel Okwaraji.
For many Nigeria fans, the players of today lack the spirit and patriotism of Samuel Okwaraji.

He only played eight times for Nigeria and scored a grand total of one goal, but Samuel Okwaraji did enough during that brief amount of time to write himself into Nigerian football folklore.

The fact that he collapsed on the pitch and then died a few minutes later may have played its part in his legacy, but it was more about the man and his selfless patriotism, the determination to give everything for his country.

Armed with a Masters degree in law, and studying for his doctorate, Okwaraji...

 By Colin Udoh

Nigeria's Sunday Oliseh using a more modern approach than predecessors

Nigeria manager Sunday Oliseh, right, is embracing social media to get his message across to the team's fans.
 

During my time as the Nigeria national team press officer working under two managers in Samson Siasia and Stephen Keshi, my hardest task by far was trying to convince both men to embrace social media.

Neither man appeared interested. For varying reasons, the biggest of which was that they claimed they didn't have time to be "mucking about with that social media nonsense" when they had more important things to do.

Last week, new coach Sunday Oliseh stunned Nigerians by posting a video update...

 By Colin Udoh

Nigeria's World Cup qualifying challenges remain before Russia 2018

Fans of the Super Eagles will now be able to watch Nigeria's ANC qualifiers.
Nigeria have plenty of work to do if they are to make World Cup qualifying easy.

Last week's preliminary draw officially signalled the start of the long road to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the majority of the 209 member associations of FIFA and handed Nigeria a tie against either Djibouti or Swaziland in the second round of African qualifying.

Contrary to popular opinion -- borne of little else but fanciful nostalgia -- World Cup qualifying has never proved easy to negotiate for Nigeria. From the days when the Green Eagles, as they were previously known, were consistently...

 By Colin Udoh

Sunday Oliseh must bring genuine change as Nigeria's new manager

Sunday Oliseh has enough independence to bring about genuine change within the Nigerian national team.

There is something immediately refreshing about Sunday Oliseh. He belongs to that extremely rare breed of retired Nigerian international footballers who have not sat around waiting for opportunities. Instead, they've added a sound education to their natural talent.

Patrick Ekeji, Segun Odegbami, Adokiye Amiesimaka and Seyi Olofinjana are some of the few who also belong to this very exclusive club. Don't get me wrong; this is in no way to be confused with ex-footballers, especially those of the...