March, 24 2023.
Written by Adewale Ajayi (Canada Based)
After critically analyzing the current position of Nigeria on the FIFA Ranking and taking into cognizance the recent poor performances of the various National teams, this writer have decided to carefully highlight the problems of Nigeria football and profer quick solutions going forward.
It is now obvious that beyond the worries on the field of play, there are more critical issues that needs urgent attention. One of such is the technical department
1. NFF TECHNICAL DEPARTMENT
The NFF technical department as presently constituted is led by former Super Eagles defender, Augustine Eguaveon, a man who goes about with this negative aura that has never been beneficial to Nigeria football.
After failing to go beyond the second round of the Nations Cup and failing to qualify Nigeris for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Emmanuel Amunike who only joined the coaching crew after the disappointment in Garoau, was made the scapegoat while Eguaveon was retained as head of the NFF technical department.
Working with Eguaveon in that department, are three individuals whose contracts with the NFF have since expired but have been told to continue even when it is obvious that they are well past their prime and have got nothing to offer Nigeria football.
If that department must become vibrant again, the Nigeria football federation must as a matter of urgency employ young and capable hands that can bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.
2. THE NFF TECHNICAL COMMITTEE
Six months after his election as NFF president, Ibrahim Gusau is yet to appoint members of the NFF technical Committee. This committee has the key responsibility to;
1. Recommend outstanding home based players to coaches of the various National teams
2. Scrutinize and query the list of invited foreign based professionals by either pruning it down to a sizeable number or recommending additions or subtrations where and when necessary.
3. Checkmate the excesses of the coaches and advice where necessary.
Unfortunately, the present NFF executive committee have not deemed it fit to make these appointments, and Nigeria football have continued to suffer for it.
3. THE SUPER EAGLES COACHING TEAM
There is no gainsaying, that the present coaching crew of the Super Eagles led by Portuguese tactician, Jose Peseiro lacks the capacity to lead Nigeria football.
They have been tested in four friendly matches before now and have failed woefully. Peseiro lacks the technical and tactical brilliance to lead Nigeria football. He is obviously too daft and has got little or no ideas on how to move this team forward. His starting line-ups and substitutions are always very poor while his team formations are to say the least, always confusing.
Going forward, there is need for a total overhaul of the technical crew. Peseiro should be told that his one year contract will not be extended beyond June this year, while his assistant coaches also need to go to give room for fresh blood and fresh ideas.
4. 25 PERCENT HOME BASED SUPER EAGLES TEAM
The Super Eagles team that glittered under Dutchman Clemence Westerhof between 1990 and 1994, had a strong blend of home and foreign based professionals. Majority of those homebased pros, used the platform provided by the national team to launch themselves into international limelight.
Then, there was always a home-based Super Eagles team on ground, training before the arrival of the foreign based players. That arrangement created serious competition for jersey among the foreign and local based professionals and led to many successes for Nigeria football.
Today, that is no longer the case, with as much as 25 foreign based.profesdionals being invited to camp. Majority of these players, are bench warmers in Europe, coming around to use the National team as a platform to relaunch their fading careers. The time to put an end to all these nonsense is now!
It is only if and when the NFF and perhaps the Sports ministry look into these listed problems and find a quick fix or solution, that Nigeria football can smile again.