Arsenal legend and two-time African Footballer of The Year Nwankwo Kanu revealed his disappointment after Nigeria failed to qualify for a second successive African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

The 2013 AFCON champions, and giant of Africa have endured a troubling time with football for years now and it seems it is not ending anytime soon. Kanu poured out his heart to local media, saying:

“That is the reality one faces each time one sleeps and wakes up. It hurts and it calls for a deep reflection.” The former Nigeria international scored a hat trick when he recently featured for an Arsenal legends game against Milan Glorie. He spoke ahead of the Nigeria-Tanzania game. He claimed the game was going to be a test for the newly appointed coach. He said the coach would have to impress Nigerians. He acknowledged problems with Nigerian football, adding: “Our football is down. We say we are the giant of Africa; we must strive to live like a giant.”

The game against Tanzania was for formality since Nigeria already blew their chances at featuring in 2017. The game ended in a 1-0 win, with Manchester City youngster Kelechi Iheanacho scoring a stunning volley. The administrative problems at the Nigerian Football Federation with the change in government – which has not witnessed calm yet – is one of the reasons that caused another miss in the continental games.

Former coach Sunday Oliseh didn’t really do much for the team since when he took over, till when he retired midway, citing various issues. With the withdrawal of Chad from the group, it became a three-man affair. This gave the Egyptians the upper hand as points gotten were reshuffled. The unrest in all the affairs meant the players were not given the best attention, so the poor motivation affected the team. The way forward would be preparing the team for the 2018 World Cup with the new German Coach.