Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ Greatest Dilema!
The state of Nigerian football today is unprecedented and the worst it has ever been. Forget that we won AFCON 2013,we mean the situations of the national teams,football federation and Local League!
When as defending champions you fail to qualify for the African Cup of Nations from a weak group,your football federation is in disarray, you have a disputed coaching crew and no quality coach is interested in applying for the job, then you have a great dilemma on your hands.
What we are experiencing today was long overdue. We qualified for last year’s World Cup in a lacklustre manner in a group that was everything but competitive.
A POOR AND OUT OF SORTS FOOTBALL FEDERATION
Nigeria’s Football structure is a joke and has been ridiculed for scandals unlike any other federation in the world. Officials are in and out of court instead of carrying out their duties of football development.
The federation has always been lacking and if the Super Eagles have excelled in the past it has not been thanks to the federation but in spite of it.
In the past (the 90s) we were blessed with exceptional players that were so talented and determined it masked the inadequacies of our football management. Our federation is incapable of creating conducive winning conditions that a national team needs to succeed at the highest level.
Today, with all due respect, the quality of the current crop of players is not like the golden era and all incompetencies are more glaring and it shows in the laughing stock we have become.
The system and voting procedure which the federation has put into its charter is so cloudy that no resourceful football technician will ever get elected into an influential post at the NFF or NFA.
Former resourceful Ex internationals who have put Nigeria on the world map of top football, are barred from going into football management as it is hijacked by people who never played the game professionally or were exposed to professional football management but want to manage professionals.
TECHNICAL AND TACTICAL INADEQUACIES
Most of us played football as kids; we all have an opinion or idea about football. This, however, leads some to think they are experts of the sport. This is not only wrong, but dangerous.
Should you want to be a top coach, football administrator or technician you have to study and get your certified qualifications and even then you are not guaranteed success.
Spain’s Football Federation recently banned Real Madrid’s second-team coach, Zinedine Zidane, from coaching because he doesn’t have the right qualifications.
If they can ban such a legend from coaching the second division, why should we hand over our national teams and first division club sides to people who just attended two-week seminars and pretend to be qualified?
It takes two years minimum to be a qualified Professional World licensed coach via theoretic and practical exercises.
COACHING CREW NEEDS RENOVATION AND HUMILITY
It is a crime to air your opinion, give advice or suggestions on how to better the Super Eagles without the handlers throwing insults at you or crying out that you seek their job.
They probably do this because they got the job by back stabbing, hence they fail to understand that not everyone needs or wants to coach the Super Eagles.
When you lack “raw” quality in your team, you advocate and build success via team work, team play and a regular team to compensate for what you lack in individual quality.
The uncoordinated way in which the Super Eagles play, which triggered our recent elimination, is borne out of the fact that there was too much line-up changes. Not only does the team not play well or succeed, it is a “foreign” and unknown team to Nigerians.
The FA’s technical committee is comical to say the least. It fails to understand what its job should be in the first place. I find it inappropriate for a national coach (no matter who he is) to be asked to justify his team selection to people who have no technical education and have never played at the highest level but believe they just have a gifted knowledge of football from just watching or having played it on the street or in school.
The technical committee should be more involved with mapping out and practically making moves to improve the local league, aid youth football development, scout opponents and report to the coaches instead of spending all their time and energy on the Super Eagles and international tournaments just because that is where the money is!
Could anyone tell me what the criteria should be for being a member of the technical committee short of technical qualifications?
LOSING SET-UP OF OUR MATCH CONDITIONS
Why the Super Eagles have to keep shifting home match venues beats my wildest imagination and takes away the intended advantages that the notion of “home matches” are supposed to bring.
Why on earth can we not understand that we need to play matches in a proper national stadium that can host 70 000 people?
If you have never played in front of 70 000 home fans backing you as a footballer you might not understand what it means to you as a Super Eagles player. I do and, believe me, it wins some matches for you in advance.
I was fortunate to experience this phenomenon for a decade and I need not tell you the results it brought us as a nation playing at the gigantic National Stadium, Surulere, in Lagos do I?
‘MONEYLESS’ FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION WOULD BE A GOD-SENT
I wish to God there was situation where there was no free flowing unaccountable money involved with the Football Federation. That would take away the fanatical interest it attracts to some today. If only it could be a body consisting of people who want to work on football for purely sporting success and no other reason.
A new board is in place now so let’s hope and pray that they understand and take on board the people’s demands and be different.
GOVERNMENT HAS TO STOP FUNDING FOOTBALL
The government has to privatise club sides but own the infrastructure they play on in return for a rental fee that is just cosmetic. This will provoke investment, creativity, competition and renew the development of the local league. That’s how it is done in Europe.
Our government should sponsor “real” technical education of our coaches as opposed to three-week coaching seminars. We can’t expect our current coaches to beat world-coaches. The World Cup was proof of that.
I expect some people won’t agree with my point of view, mainly because such progressive changes might affect their “pocket”. If things don’t change, fanatical football-loving Nigerians will continue to follow the English Premier League and other European leagues instead of our local league and national team.
Like we have always said, Nigeria is bigger and more important than anybody so let’s put our people first!