Throwback to how Okocha used his PL armband for Nigeria`s 2004 AFCON games
At the 2004 AFCON, Nigeria`s skipper Jay Jay Okocha was pictured using the customized captain armband from his club Premier League Bolton while representing the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Of-course there are no sanctions to this but it looked odd and so questions were asked to why the Nigeria Football Federation did not provide the maestro with another armband throughout the tournament in Tunisia.
Since the Football Federation or Okocha himself did not come forward with any reasons for why the Midfielder was using the Premier League armband as captain of Bolton Wanderers while playing for Nigeria, unconfirmed reports say it happened as a result of the NFF failing to provide an alternative.
There were others who reported Okocha felt comfortable using the armband as a luck-symbol to inspire same performances that endeared him to fans at the Reebok stadium.
NIGERIA AT THE 2004 AFCON
Look-away from the armband stories, Okocha was in excellent form as Nigeria claimed the bronze medal at the 2004 AFCON.
The midfield maestro finished among the top-scorers with his 4-goals from 6-games.
Okocha went into the Africa Cup of Nations history book when he scored the tournaments 1000th goal in a 4-0 mauling of South Africa.
His second goal of the tournament was a well-taken free kick as Nigeria defeated arch-rivals Cameroon 2-1 in the quater-final.
Nigeria fell to a 5-3 penalty shootout loss to hosts and eventual champions Tunisia in the Semi-final game. That shootout came after a grueling 1-1 regulation time tussle where Okocha had scored with a 67th minute penalty before Badra Khaled levelled matters from the spot with seven minutes of regulation time left to play.
Inspirational as always, Okocha scored his 4th goal of the tournament as Nigeria defeated Mali 2-1 to take the bronze medal.
In the end, whether he wore a customized Bolton armband was not the main story, what mattered was that the midfielder led excellently well as expected of a captain.
The report of some Super Eagles players being expelled from camp at the 2004 AFCON is a story for another day on History book.