I have been watching the Premiership, LA Liga and other European leagues for the past week. In these leagues I have seen players show amazing qualities. I have also watched the UEFA champions’ league where teams have shown amazing skills. Football is good to watch when you have players of quality playing against each other. You would be amazed at how your inner happiness is set aglow when you watch good football.
This now goes to my next case as it concerns Nigeria. Presently, can anyone point at 2 Nigerian players of quality who were bred in Nigeria that could provide a vital cross from the wings? Can someone do the same for strikers? Can someone come out and provide footballers that he would recommend in the mid-field to provide both attacking and defensive supports? Who among Nigerian players could actually play set pieces? I am talking about free-kicks and corner kicks of quality? How about getting boys who could be very good headers when playing against quality opponents? I can go on and on… You can argue this out but we all know what we know. Naija nor get beta players as it is now..
We have a national team that is struggling. You were able to see how Burkina faso was able to defeat our so called “dream team’’ (3-1) in the all African games. Very shameful I must confess. You watched our super Eagles struggled against Tanzania. Was it not a shame that Nigerans were “jubilating” just because we defeated Niger (2-0) in a friendly match played in Nigeria? Na Niger nor be Spain o!! That is the extent our football has sunk. I am not blaming any of the coaches as I believe that any coach of the National team is more or less a crisis manager. He must learn how to work with average and even mediocre players. The world of football is no longer hidden. When a player is good it would show. Dem nor dey hide talent like football. You would see it.
The real buck stops at the NFF. The NFF officials must learn to think less about their bank accounts. They must learn to think less about how to share FIFA grants. They must look less at how Government subventions to NFF would be shared into their individual accounts and face football. Our Football needs emergency bail-out. Our football needs “enhancement surgery”. NFF has to go to the basics and re-invent our football. They need to collaborate with the state governors in the preservation of public schools’ football pitches (or fields). These fields should only be used for sports and not parties, recreational activities or religious activities. They must work with the states to set up competitions with the schools and allow these competitions to grow. They shouldn’t be looking for state governors to only bankroll Nigeria team’s matches or their AGM. They should just move football.
NFF should now streamline the activities of soccer academies and make them worthwhile. There should be incentives for academies that are producing good players and with solid management capabilities. Additionally, they have to control the ways and manners these academies have turned to ”scouting clubs” with minimal interests in players’ walfare.
The Local league should be looked at with all interest. Do you know that many players play wthout getting their salaries? Some of the owed salaries last for months. You would easily see the difference between a player plying his trade in Nigeria and the others plying theirs abroad. The difference is so clear. I do not expect the NFF President to be having a good sleep while he knows that his players are hungry. Leave the LMC, in Nigeria it is NFF that holds the knife and yam.
I can go on and on.. However, the first thing is that NFF officials must first think less about their bank accounts and face football growth. The way we are going, playing in the Nations cup and world cup could start turning up to be luxury unless something is surgically done to move our football forward….Ewolewoo!!