Post World Cup Qualifier disappointment: NFF Vice President, others rethink foreign coach supremacy

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NationalDaily (Esther Egbe) gets reactions from sports administrators and stake holders on the last game of the Super Eagles that left a bitter taste in the mouth of Nigerians at the Uyo, Akwa Ibom State stadium.
According to Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) , Seyi Akinwumi, “there is so much that goes into the decision of appointing a national team coach, while nationality may be one of them it certainly is not and should not be a sole or even a major determinant. My view is that we have a coach, he has done well in the past few months since his appointment, let us support him irrelevant of where he is from rather than seize the opportunity of his stumble to raise this ‘indigenous’ coach issue again. I didn’t hear it in the past year or so before Saturday. Same with players,  let us support them wherever they play their football, they have and will do us proud”.
He wondered why Amaju is bent on getting a foreign coach, ” instead of indigenous one then you compared us to Brazil, Argentina etc. We have worked with 4 Super Eagles Coaches since this board came on board and 3 of them are Indigenous so your assertion on foreign coach is not accurate”.
He did not stop there, he went ahead to say, “It is impossible for the NFF alone to create an enabling environment for a coach to prosper. We are doing our bit but our country is our country. We do have good coaches in Nigeria (we have good people in every aspect of life in Nigeria) many of them have shown their worth but what is the ratio of those that you can entrust the national team to as against those you cant. Sentiment aside, what is the pedigree? and what are the parameters you would use?” He queries rhetorically.
He also made a very important remark that, “I however believe that as the league develops it will produce world class players and world class coaches and some of them will lead the Super Eagles. Youth development is the answer, development of young players, coaches and referees undiluted with the mindset of our generation”.
He concluded on a positive note, “We will get there but on coaches please tell that giant,  the Coaches Association to wake up from slumber. Those top coaches in Nigeria should get together, seek sponsorship to organise training and tutoring sessions”.
Also speaking to National Daily, CEO 36 Lion Football Club, Hajji Gafar said, “I do not think any foreign coach nowadays can or will provide us with what we want or even get us to the promise land. I hope our reliance on overseas technical assistance would stop.
“Every single thing, good or bad, you see in any individual is ten times available with every Nigerian. Salisu will match up or even do better than Rohr; all we need to do is pay him well and have the same blind trust in him as we do any European coach.
“We have our own ‘Style’ of Football. A style of playing that has, in time past, distinguished us from others. Where is our signature game? It’s only ‘our own’ that will effectively depict what we are blessed with.
“I said it was a disgrace to the name Nigeria few years ago when we proposed 5 to 7 million naira to late Keshi after having got the AFCON trophy. We value and pay our coaches way too less, consequently, reducing their confidence and at the same time trying to extinguish their arrogance. You can’t coach well if you’re not arrogant, you just need not be an idiot.
“You can’t coach or manage big-earning players if your pocket is not full. It is psychological. Some age grade national team coaches earn 150 thousand Naira a month. What is that? I’ve been paying my coach the same amount of money for over 10 years and I’m gonna give him a raise at the end of this season.
“Although Europeans and European markets add great value to our football and more especially to we grassroots club owners, I’ve never and will never support a European or a foreign coach over our local coaches. I’ll never be neutral about it either. We have 20 coaches in our top flight league, are we saying none of them can take us to the promise land? We are our own antagonist. We do not feel that any one of them should be earning ‘big money’.
“World cup 2010 is still fresh in my mind like 7 minutes ago, or was it 7 years? How quick we forget! Let go of Rohr; pay Salisu only 10 million Naira monthly, and I guarantee you that we will get both AFCON and world cup ticket with no undue hassle. We tend to expend too much money yet get hundreds of migraine and little or no result with these foreign coaches.
He concluded like this, “The issue of balls and other logistics quagmire have got nothing to do with losing to South Africa. We will always have that challenge. I have personally bailed couple of our national teams out logistically a few times. I have never complained about it and I will not. If you have the opportunity to and you place the blame on the NFF or somebody else, it’s your prerogative. I’ve given 17 good years of my life to youth football in Nigeria, spending nothing less than 20 million naira every year and still going In Shaa ALLAH. This is my humble personal”.
Clement Nwankpa Jr . Sports Journalist in Abuja, revealed to National daily that losing to SA would help forestall a Cameroon disaster that lay ahead. It was good that this happened now. Some of us believe so much in this team but we always pointed out a weak link (the low Experience quotient).Whenever I clamoured for an infusion of some experience into the team, I was met with “hey, don’t drag us back.
These kids are good to go”. I always opined that on BIG match days, inexperience might prove costly. Fact: If we had, at least, Mikel in that team, the result would have been more favourable. Algeria would have done exactly this in that WC qualifier but for Mikel and Moses. Thank God, this happened when it did.
“At least, Rohr won’t even dream of starting Awaziem at the heart of defense against Cameroon. The team he put out on Saturday was so short in experience. He wouldn’t make that mistake going forward. I think Rohr overrated certain players and didn’t know how sorely the likes of Mikel and Moses would be missed. Now, he knows. Also think a player like Ideye, though playing in China, would be the perfect foil for those young forwards.His experience would suffice. Cameroon wouldn’t profit from Rohr’s mistakes against SA. It was a wake-up call that will yield fruits in those WC qualifiers.
“This team hasn’t suddenly gone bad. This loss has made us realise the key thing that is missing.Experience .Once the hole is plugged, we are good to go.Let me remind us: This was Rohr’s first competitive game without Mikel! Now, he knows (we all know) the guy’s relevance in the team.

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