opinionBy Steve Oma-Ofozor
Lagos — As preparations thickens ahead of Brazil 2014 World Cup ex-internationals have supported the idea of Super Eagles players going to the Mundial with their wives for maximum supports and as a way to avoid unnecessary distractions from samba girls. They opined that players who have the resources however can sponsor their wives as the venture may not be under the budget of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), noting the development is a global phenomenon.
Otherwise, people with good knowledge of the Latin American environment, particularly the Brazilian samba cultural display have hinted that it is too sexually alluring for strangers to cope with.
The apprehension of the Eagles losing concentration however, has informed the ex-internationals throwing their weight behind the players going with their wives, if they can afford the burden adding it will be a big boost for them.
Against this backdrop, NFF Technical Committee member, Christian Chukwu, who was one of those that spoke with Sunday Independent Sports Week maintained, "The players in my estimation are professionally matured enough to control their social desires, especially in a crucial tournament as the World Cup.
"In Europe and other parts of the world where they ply their football trade, they come across these distractive activities and they are able to cope, so is not anything strange to them. On a second thought, the former Super Eagles handler asserted, "However, looking at it from human angle, one cannot take away the possibilities of some certain distractions, especially from the samba girls. Hence we have to be proactive.
"This is the reason I can support the Eagles players going to the World Cup with their wives if they can afford it, because the presence of their wives will be a great boost to their performance.
"Other countries do it, but the players must not wait for the NFF to make it part of the Mundial's budget that where they maybe problems," Chukwu said.
Corroborating Chukwu, former Bendel Insurance head coach and Super Eagles winger, Baldwin Bazuaye added a national colour to it.
Bazuaye said, "I'm in full support of the Eagles players going to the Mundial with their wives. It is a good way of boosting their morals and avoiding external distractions particularly from the Samba girls."
Bazuaye who was one of Clemence Westerhof boys in the early 90s said "Let the players wives go with them, so that they will know how their husbands make their money.
"I believe if the wives go with their husbands, they too will be contributing to national development, because supporting their husbands, means supporting Nigeria to succeed at the Mundial," he concluded.
However, former Shooting Stars of Ibadan head coach and Chile '87 Flying Eagles star, Tunde Odubola, differs with Chukwu and Bazuaye.
Odubola said that the company of the wives will make more meaning at the semi finals stage rather than at the group stage, just as he agreed that the presence of the women by their husband will be a good boost.
According to him, "These players are not kids, the presence or absence of their wives will not make much difference to them at the group stage in terms of distractions from other women.
"In their clubs in Europe they are exposed to all these distractions as well, is not anything strange to them, but I will advise that if their wives will have to be with them, it should be from the semi finals not the group stage
"The reason is that semi final stage need maximum concentration and boost from the players and this is the stage where their wives come."
Interestingly, Rio de Janeiro's whirlwind Carnival season came to a close recently, with the five-day fiesta culminating in spectacular samba parades and partying throughout the streets of Brazil's second-largest city.
While the World Cup in Brazil is just around the corner, one samba school dressed dancers as soccer balls at night's parade, while another float celebrated Brazil's Grand Prix.
Although lavish parades stole most of the 900,000 tourists' attention, nearly 500 street parties have pulsed through Rio.
According to AFP report, with anti-government demonstrations simmering in the lead-up to the World Cup, a few Brazilians even used mock parades to protest government corruption.
But Carnival, a tradition which dates back to the early 18th century, is mainly a moment of ecstatic national pride.
"Yes, it's a party. But it's also us honoring our history and ensuring that samba will never die," one samba dancer said.