It was a glamourous nite of football,debutant vs. defending champions in the final of the 2009 Under-17 championship. It was a home game for Nigeria but the home advantage was evened by the fact that their opposing team is the birth country of the President of FIFA, Switzerland. Fair play it was for both teams, leaving them a levelled playing ground to fight for victory or face defeat.
Having watched both teams played in different games, it was hard for me to give the game to any of the two teams on a platter of gold because they’ve both showed pedigree with their style of play and determination and some level of individual brilliances from some members of both teams. Each team had a player with the potential of winning the golden boot and the two coaches have displayed a high level of coordination and control over their respective teams. What was left to claim the victory was not just the team play but the technicality of the two coaches to make decisive decisions when required.
One coach stuck to the winning formula while the other went for last minute excitement out of greed, placing the golden boot ahead of the golden trophy that brings the real glory. He threw in the golden boot seeking player and threw away the winning formula and the trophy along with it just for the hope of some undeserved personal gratification, and in the process lost out on all… Misplaced priority, it is not unusual for any footballer at any level to make the Same mistakes made by Sanni Emmanuel but it was totally unprofessional for the team coach John Obuh to have started him in a match where team success was more important than personal glory, knowing fully well that he was not a perfect match starter. Sticking with his starting eleven would have probably got him goals in t the first half of the game and the later introduction of Sanni into the game could have been the icing on the glorious cake that would have earned him the Adidas golden boot as well. Forgetting the essence of the game and unknowingly misplacing the priority of the game by redefining the purpose for self gratification instead of service national glory made him give the trophy away on a platter of gold.
Many a times in our lives; at the brink of our victory, we throw away our core values for minutes reasons at the risk of loosing our hard earned glory and deserved victory and most times we loose out on all at the long run without achieving the purpose for which we started out or acquiring the extra we traded in our glory to get. We loose on both ends just because we fail to identify which is more important and we throw out our victory for just a little more while we assume that the coordinates are right. We attach the same value to the joy of our desired victory and that of the extra personal gratification and sometimes we give it more because we suddenly get over confident about it. We misplace priority, forgetting the weathiest matter of all and we pursue the addendum that will naturally accompany our victory if we have devotedly stayed true without throwing out our values till the end, we go for the glitter and throw away the gold we could have been rewarded with by following through with the divine protocol.
Now I understand perfectly well what Jesus meant when He said
“Seek yee first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you”.
How I wish John Obuh had seek first the trophy of the cadet competition only, obviously every other thing that accompanies it such as, the golden boot, accolades of being the first to host and win, first country to win the competition four times, first country to retain the trophy after wining the fourth time, first country to win the competition back to back, first coach to win the competition on home soil etc..etc… would have been added unto him effortlessly, but he chose the golden boot and lost all. Do we make these same mistakes in our daily dealing of every day of our lives? Less think about it…
I hope you’ve learnt the lessons I learnt