Nigerian soccer fans are bound to enter another frenetic round of heated debate over what has been tagged the Super Eagles’ jinxed jersey,’ as the team will again don their now infamous all-green garb for Tuesday night’s international friendly against Ukraine, megasportsarena.com reports.
Records show that the Eagles have lost six matches since 2018 while donning the dark green hued kit for major matches, of which the most recent was the painful 2-1 loss to Algeria in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final, such that seeing the team don the same attire at Dnipro-Arena would set tongues wagging once again among Nigerian faithful.
It would not be seen if the dark-green shirts, shorts and socks will get a different end to their recent poor run with a decent result in Dnipro, which could put an end to permutations and superstition that the Eagles cannot win if they wear this particular kit.
This follows confirmation that the Eagles’ outfield players will wear the deep green away kits in Tuesday evening’s friendly, while their hosts, Ukraine are set to don white at Dnipro Arena, which will take the memory of Nigerian fans back to the start of 2018 to AFCON 2019, during which time the three-time African champions have lost six matches wearing the dark jerseys.
During the period under review, Nigeria lost 1-0 to Czech Republic in a pre-World Cup friendly in June 2018 wearing the all-green strip, before they were beaten by Croatia and Argentina at the World Cup.
The following year, 2019, Gernot Rohr’s team have lost three matches in the same attire, first to Senegal in a friendly, then to Madagascar and Algeria at AFCON 2019, but they had earlier Poland, Libya and Egypt with the same ‘jinxed’ jersey.
Nigerian fans will also get to see many alterations to the previous alignment of jersey numbers for their favourite players, as the retirements of John Mikel Obi and Odion Jude Ighalo have left their shirts vacant, while the forced withdrawals of Ahmed Musa, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi, Henry Onyekuru and Kenneth Omeruo, plus the non-invitation of John Ugochukwu Ogu have given all the new invitees options to take up all the available kit.
Consequently, new invitee Josh Maja has taken Mikel’s number 10, Joe Aribo will don 19 kit used by Ogu at AFCON 2019, Emmanuel Dennis gets Ighalo’s nine and Paul Ebere Onuachu moves to 15; but all others stick with the figures they donned in Egypt.
This includes Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Ola Aina, Jamilu Collins, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Aderemi Balogun, Oghenekaro Etebo, Samuel Chukwueze, Samuel Kalu, Alex Iwobi, Chidozie Awaziem and Victor Osimhen, while the goalkeepers also stick with their figures, as Francis Odinaka Uzoho stays with number 23 and Ikechukwu Ezenwa with number one.