Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

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Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

Post by Bigpokey24 »

https://www.bbc.com/sport/africa/61864802

Ola Aina has no regrets over his decision to represent Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations, even though it cost him his spot at club side Torino.

The 25-year-old defender was a regular starter for the Italian Serie A outfit and was only absent from the squad once between August and December 2021 before departing for the mid-season tournament.

However, the former Chelsea man made just five appearances from a possible 16 for the Turin side after returning from the continental event in Cameroon.

"My season was up and down. The first half from August before I left for the Afcon was okay, a few good performances and some things in those games I think were quite nice as well," Aina told BBC Sport Africa.

"And then after the Afcon things really slowed up for me.

"I wasn't being selected in the starting XI and playing games wasn't free flowing as prior, but I have no regrets whatsoever."

'Middle ground' needed over scheduling
Many European clubs and some Europe-based African players had complained about the timing of the 24-team Nations Cup, which was played this year between 9 January and 6 February.

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But despite the regular club-v-country rows that regularly break out ahead of the finals, Aina believes that since other competitions are easily accommodated in the calendar, a middle ground can be found.

Asked by BBC Sport if the African tournament should be scheduled to suit European clubs and make life easier for African players, the full-back replied: "I don't think it's difficult because if it was a tournament for the Europeans to go to, I don't think it will be a problem for anyone to go to.

Ola Aina (left) in action for Nigeria against Sierra Leone in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier
Aina (left) has won 29 caps for Nigeria
"The next World Cup [in Qatar] is happening during the season and everyone is stopping because it's the World Cup - it's an international tournament and there's no problem with that.

"For me I didn't have any issue. I was looking forward to it (the Nations Cup) from the time we had qualified to go and play in that tournament.

"I think there should be a middle ground. Obviously as players we understand that while we are away the team have to adapt and other players may take their opportunities and that's understandable and acceptable because we are not there.

"In my case that's what happened. Someone took their opportunity and they did very well, and that's just the nature of the game."

Regular game time a must for Aina
Aina, a former England youth international, initially joined Torino on loan in 2018 before sealing a permanent deal from Chelsea in June 2019.

He featured 37 times in all competitions in the season after his switch three years ago, but then spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan in the Premier League with Fulham.

With a year left on his Torino contract, Aina says he has not decided on his future but admits featuring regularly for club and country will be very significant in any conversations about a new deal.

"Nothing is really clearer, but hopefully in a few weeks I'd know exactly what I am working towards," he added.

"Obviously a player wants to go to a place or team where they can play regularly. For me that's a must and I wouldn't look anywhere if I am not trying to play regularly or if I can't force myself to play regularly.

"For the future, I just want to be able to play at the highest level for the biggest clubs possible. That's a dream and aspiration of mine, so hopefully something happens.

"We'll see what the future holds, and hopefully whatever team it is or whether I stay at Torino, they will understand that the African Cup of Nations and playing for my country is a big part of my career and life, so I will be hoping to continue to play for Nigeria without any problems."

The Super Eagles missed out on a place at the 2022 World Cup in Africa's play-offs in March but have made a perfect start in Group A as they seek a spot at next year's Nations Cup in Ivory Coast.

Aina, who has 29 caps for Nigeria, featured as Nigeria beat Sierra Leone 2-1 and thrashed minnows Sao Tome e Principe 10-0 to seal two wins from their first two qualifiers.
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Re: Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

Post by EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA »

Good to see Aina stand his ground. However , Caf needs to do something about its scheduling of Afcon. We had on about 6 months ago, another one will start in 6 months not including the Afcon qualifiers. Top teams will not sign as many African players as they would if the calender was friendlier.

2 Afcons in 12 months. Kilode? Na by force?
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Re: Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

Post by Enugu II »

EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:40 pm Good to see Aina stand his ground. However , Caf needs to do something about its scheduling of Afcon. We had on about 6 months ago, another one will start in 6 months not including the Afcon qualifiers. Top teams will not sign as many African players as they would if the calender was friendlier.

2 Afcons in 12 months. Kilode? Na by force?

This has been argued severally. CAF has agreed to bow to Europe on this matter but IMO they did not have to.
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Re: Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

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Enugu II wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:43 pm
EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:40 pm Good to see Aina stand his ground. However , Caf needs to do something about its scheduling of Afcon. We had on about 6 months ago, another one will start in 6 months not including the Afcon qualifiers. Top teams will not sign as many African players as they would if the calender was friendlier.

2 Afcons in 12 months. Kilode? Na by force?

This has been argued severally. CAF has agreed to bow to Europe on this matter but IMO they did not have to.
So Africa should be the only confed to have their competition in the middle of the European season ?

What absolute stupid arrogance.

Even Asia has moved their cup to the summer, despite having far fewer euro based players.

EVERYONE, Europe, concacaf, South America, Asia play their tournament in summer, but we should just continue our same boneheadwd ways and continually put our players in club vs country rows. Abeg good thing CAF moved forward on this issue.
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Re: Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

Post by EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA »

Enugu II wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:43 pm
EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:40 pm Good to see Aina stand his ground. However , Caf needs to do something about its scheduling of Afcon. We had on about 6 months ago, another one will start in 6 months not including the Afcon qualifiers. Top teams will not sign as many African players as they would if the calender was friendlier.

2 Afcons in 12 months. Kilode? Na by force?

This has been argued severally. CAF has agreed to bow to Europe on this matter but IMO they did not have to.
Ok. It means the next Afcon 23 will be the last one held during the winter. When is the next Afcon after that? Summer of 2027?
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Re: Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

Post by vancity eagle »

EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:46 pm
Enugu II wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:43 pm
EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:40 pm Good to see Aina stand his ground. However , Caf needs to do something about its scheduling of Afcon. We had on about 6 months ago, another one will start in 6 months not including the Afcon qualifiers. Top teams will not sign as many African players as they would if the calender was friendlier.

2 Afcons in 12 months. Kilode? Na by force?

This has been argued severally. CAF has agreed to bow to Europe on this matter but IMO they did not have to.
Ok. It means the next Afcon 23 will be the last one held during the winter. When is the next Afcon after that? Summer of 2027?
2023 will be next summer.

2021/22 was the last one held in winter.
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Re: Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

Post by Bigpokey24 »

EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:40 pm Good to see Aina stand his ground. However , Caf needs to do something about its scheduling of Afcon. We had on about 6 months ago, another one will start in 6 months not including the Afcon qualifiers. Top teams will not sign as many African players as they would if the calender was friendlier.

2 Afcons in 12 months. Kilode? Na by force?
you live under a rock or 3rd mainland bridge? Afcons are now in the summer
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Re: Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

Post by EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA »

Bigpokey24 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:03 pm
EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:40 pm Good to see Aina stand his ground. However , Caf needs to do something about its scheduling of Afcon. We had on about 6 months ago, another one will start in 6 months not including the Afcon qualifiers. Top teams will not sign as many African players as they would if the calender was friendlier.

2 Afcons in 12 months. Kilode? Na by force?
you live under a rock or 3rd mainland bridge? Afcons are now in the summer
Ok Mr Banana Island tenant. When is the next Afcon after the one n3xt yr?
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Re: Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

Post by Enugu II »

VE,

Unfortunately, you fail to understand the history of these matters. If you did, you would not have made the statements that you made. If you wish to know the history ask why the AFCON was first moved from March calendar to January? When you know the answer, you would have learned a lot about what the issues are.
vancity eagle wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:27 pm
Enugu II wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:43 pm
EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:40 pm Good to see Aina stand his ground. However , Caf needs to do something about its scheduling of Afcon. We had on about 6 months ago, another one will start in 6 months not including the Afcon qualifiers. Top teams will not sign as many African players as they would if the calender was friendlier.

2 Afcons in 12 months. Kilode? Na by force?

This has been argued severally. CAF has agreed to bow to Europe on this matter but IMO they did not have to.
So Africa should be the only confed to have their competition in the middle of the European season ?

What absolute stupid arrogance.

Even Asia has moved their cup to the summer, despite having far fewer euro based players.

EVERYONE, Europe, concacaf, South America, Asia play their tournament in summer, but we should just continue our same boneheadwd ways and continually put our players in club vs country rows. Abeg good thing CAF moved forward on this issue.
The difficulties of statistical thinking describes a puzzling limitation of our mind: our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in. We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events -- Daniel Kahneman (2011), Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
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Re: Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

Post by aruako1 »

Enugu II wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:17 am VE,

Unfortunately, you fail to understand the history of these matters. If you did, you would not have made the statements that you made. If you wish to know the history ask why the AFCON was first moved from March calendar to January? When you know the answer, you would have learned a lot about what the issues are.
vancity eagle wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:27 pm
Enugu II wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:43 pm
EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:40 pm Good to see Aina stand his ground. However , Caf needs to do something about its scheduling of Afcon. We had on about 6 months ago, another one will start in 6 months not including the Afcon qualifiers. Top teams will not sign as many African players as they would if the calender was friendlier.

2 Afcons in 12 months. Kilode? Na by force?

This has been argued severally. CAF has agreed to bow to Europe on this matter but IMO they did not have to.
So Africa should be the only confed to have their competition in the middle of the European season ?

What absolute stupid arrogance.

Even Asia has moved their cup to the summer, despite having far fewer euro based players.

EVERYONE, Europe, concacaf, South America, Asia play their tournament in summer, but we should just continue our same boneheadwd ways and continually put our players in club vs country rows. Abeg good thing CAF moved forward on this issue.
Don't expect any thoughtful response from him. For people like him, CAF is just an appendage of European football. Even Ola Aina gets it better than him.
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Re: Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

Post by Bigpokey24 »

I think Ola will be suspended for the September qualifiers . Picked up two yellows in the last games
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Re: Nigeria's Ola Aina has 'no regrets' leaving Torino to play at Nations Cup

Post by Adisboy »

Bigpokey24 wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 11:45 am I think Ola will be suspended for the September qualifiers . Picked up two yellows in the last games
He's only suspended from the 1st game not the 2nd i.e. he should be available for the away tie against Guinea Bissau. 2 yellow cards is one game suspension.

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