MACEDONIA REJECTS ZONING, KNOCKOUTS ITALY IN WORLD CUP PRIMARIES.

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31-year-old Macedonia rejected the zoning arrangement ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup and went on to defeat 76-year-old Italy in the Primary election held in Europe last Thursday.

Born in 1991 by Yugoslavian and with no World Cup experience, Macedonia stunned the world on Thursday after a last-gasp victory against one of the founding fathers of the World Cup, Italy.

The Eastern European country rejected the zoning haven failed automatic qualification last year and went for a playoff (Direct Primary) against the Titan of the tournament, Italy.

The 76-year-old Italy who made 18 appearances in World Cup history and also participated in the first-ever World Cup tournament in Montevideo in 1934, won the tournament on four occasions (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006) relied on their participatory history and achievements while considering Macedonia leader of tomorrow.

The National Working Committee (FIFA) had earlier advised Macedonia to accept the zoning arrangement and allow Italy to scale through. They argued that the 76-year-old ITALY was the founding member of the party (World Cup), they have contributed immensely to the growth of the tournament and despite haven won on four occasions, the Qatar 2022 (the first World Cup on Arab soil) was their lifelong ambition. They added that ITALY allegedly has a political structure (fans) that can help them win the World Cup more than Macedonia.

In a stunning response, Macedonia said “NO”, that they are no longer leaders of tomorrow but of today. Rejected all offers put before them, noting that the idea of Zoning was soccerly undemocratic and unhealthy for the tournament (elections). They went on to say that if Italy (old leaders) are not stopped they will go on to decolonize the World Cup (entire Nigeria) just as they have done in European Nations Cup (Western Politics) as the defending Champions.

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They argued that for a sustainable and healthy competition, zoning should be extinct from the competition (party primaries) noting that their age and size should not be used to determine their participation. The Eastern European country said what is most important was the capacity, commitment, and courage to unite the fans (the People) together along ethnic, religious, and gender lines. They said the glory of the World Cup has always been achieved by the younger teams and not the so-called old veterans of the tournament.

Before the match against Italy, a Macedonian veteran striker who was born before his country, Goran Pandev asked members of the Macedonian team to damn the age, experience, and the money-induced popularity of their opponent and go for the ultimate goal. He said it is time for the older teams (politicians) to give way for the younger ones to participate favorably.

After defeating Italy, Macedonia advised the party (FIFA) to allow equal participation and discourage the idea of classifying some clubs (aspirants) as being desirable to others. They said in a tournament of over 250 different participants (ethnic groups) believing that only the three major participants (tribes) from North, West, and East hold sway at every tournament (election) will continue to breed disunity and injustice in the tournament (country).

For Italy (old aspirants), It was like the old joke about buses: you wait hours for one, and then two come along at once. Except in reverse. Italy went 60 years without missing a World Cup and now, after Thursday’s 1-0 playoff defeat to a young North Macedonia, their lifelong ambition of playing the tournament on Arab soil was quashed by the small country (candidate) in the primary elections.

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It might feel jarring that the side that won the European Championships (political dominance in the West) just eight months ago, the team that, before Thursday night, had lost just one (Oyo to opposition party) of its previous 39 games (setting a world record unbeaten streak along the way) should go out to North Macedonia with a population of 1.83 million and FIFA ranking of 67 positions, but that’s the basic nature of every game and, specifically, World Cup qualifying (primary elections) where unthinkable can become the reality.

In politics, Yahaya Bellonovic is Macedonia. He took the world by surprise in 2015 when he consummated the biggest political upset, came second in the primary election, and went on to become governor eventually. He stunned the world again in a more astonishing fashion in 2019 by clinching the primary election and won the general election with an unimaginable margin that was never recorded before.

With the events of the past, Bellonovic have a certain margin for error but he has certain Winning characteristics of Macedonia; his rootlessness and mercilessness against fans hooliganism (insecurity) in Kogi, courage and self-belief, his ability to unite the fans across the world (equity, justice, and fairness by having people from across the country serving in his cabinet) and removal of gender parity from the game (his women inclusion in governance, surpassing the 35% affirmative action) have endeared him to the hearts of millions of Nigerians today.

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The two major challenges the tournament (country) is facing today are that of hooliganism (insecurity) and lack of FairPlay (a conspicuous division of the people along ethnic and religious lines). Yahaya Bellonovic has dealt with these twin cancer in Kogi State and can repeat the same across Nigeria.

For those who think they can use VAR (money) to manipulate their ways against the wishes of the people, the outgoing center referee, Muhammadu Rossetti Buharison during the constitution of the new FIFA executives (National Executive Council of the party) at the Eagle Square on Saturday has said the ticket cannot be given to the highest bidder this time around. His views about the next center referee mirrored the qualities of Yahaya Bellonovic when he said such persons must be rootless in dealing with fans’ hooliganism (insecurity) and fostering unity among different ethnic groups in the country.

Ladies and gentlemen of the game, at this juncture, I hereby use the extra time of this commentary to announce to you that His Excellency, Yahaya Bellonovic shall be declaring his aspiration to run for the position of Centre referee (President of the country) on Saturday, 2nd of April, 2022, at the Eagle Square, Abuja, FCT. You are all expected to grace the occasion.

Yours Commentator, Galacticus Drury Onogwu.

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