By ADEOLA ADEROUNMU, Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘NFF’

FIFA HAMMERS NIGERIAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION

Nigeria is in the news again for the wrong reason. From this week we cannot play any form of football on the African continent and worldwide.

Government has intervened continuously in the administration of football in Nigeria. As a matter of fact I think FIFA shares in the blame. Nigeria has hosted major football tournaments and each time she does FIFA is always so entangled to the Nigerian government in manners that beat my imaginations.

I think the Nigerian government got carried away by the relationship it had with FIFA and so the individuals in government did not know when to draw the lines.

We have hosted the U-21 and U-17 championships and on both occasions FIFA was actually dealing directly with the Federal and States Governments. Jack Warner knows all about these.

I am not saying FIFA is totally as fault. I mean FIFA had permitted the permeation of football administration and tournament organisation by the Nigerian government on two occasions instead of insisting on the football association in Nigeria to do the proper organisation and hosting.

FIFA permitted the Nigerian government to apply the fire brigade approach on two occasions as mentioned above.

Anyway you will think that this ban will inculcate some lessons into the greedy and corrupt football/ government officials in Nigeria. Wait until the ban is lifted, it will be business as usual.

I can almost not see anywhere in Nigeria where we have learnt from history and past events. People with the shortest myopic perspective in the world live in Nigeria. As soon as an event passes, we forget the lessons and the never apply our hearts to wisdom on how to make things work better.

Football administration in Nigeria has been in the hands of crude and unintelligent minds-people who probably know nothing about football administration. If you conduct tests about football, sports and sports administration for these people, their level of mentality will leave you spell bound for the rest of your lives.

How did they get there? Good question.

In Nigeria my country of birth, merit is dead. They use one useless thing called federal character in assigning positions and assignments. It means any fool can occupy any top position because he is from a certain part of Nigeria. Nigerians are united with their lips while their hearts are far apart. They so hate one another you will not imagine the depth.

The FIFA ban is about football but it is a total reflection of what is wrong with Nigeria. It is part of the reason why poverty and diseases continue to spread like wild fires. In Nigeria the jobs are never given to the people who are qualified or fit for the positions. Some people call it paddy-paddy.

Federal character and paddy-paddy at the expense of both merit and technical know-how have completely destroyed Nigeria.

I am not happy about the ban but I am not in a rush either for it to be lifted.

Nigerians must learn one thing. That is at some point we must begin to do things the right way. We must do the right thing always.

Imagine a premiership football in Nigeria with no relegations…what type of nonsense and stupidity is that. Imagine also all the Hullaballoo about the election, annullment, court cases and so on. What is wrong with Nigeria and Nigerians?

The federal character must be abolished. The person who can and who is qualified should be elected or appointed to do a given job. If he or she fails there must be buoyant mechanisms to allow for replacement according to guidelines or constitutions.

This affects every aspect of our lives including the forthcoming (future) political elections.

Nigeria and Nigerians must negotiate the turning point of their common history, the status quo remain a consistent recipe for continuous failure and international embarrassments.


UPDATE:

FIFA provisionally lifted the ban and Nigeria can continue to play their qualifying games for the Nations Cup.

Before the sacking of Amodu…(again)

Adeola Aderounmu

Is Amodu the problem with Nigerian Football? I don’t think so. Does he have roles to play in the development of our game? I think so. Has he done everything right? No.

There are thousands of question one could ask and there will be thousands of opinions for each questions. In Nigeria everyone of us is a potential coach and analyst.

If Amodu is sacked, history will probably repeat itself. In France 1998 and Japan/ Korea 2002 Nigeria suffered humiliation in the world cup championship. Coaches that didn’t qualify Nigeria for the championship were drafted in as the so called “world cup coaches” and Nigeria was humiliated in both tournaments.

In 2010 we are about to repeat the same mistake. Sometime I wonder if Nigeria learns! For some people it is business as usual. Let’s bring in a new coach and collect our share of the deal and contract!

Amodu is not the problem with Nigerian football. The administration of football in Nigeria is a joke! You find men in agbada running around with big stomachs and calling themselves sports administrators. These men are pure contractors and they have been blinded by what they stand to gain from the sport rather than what they can give to the game. In some instances, you will find people who cannot even spell football correctly. Some of these people have no real knowledge of the game.

And they blame the coach and players.

Indeed when you watch Nigerian games sometimes you can take a swipe at the players and coaches. Often it appears that they don’t know what is at stake. But believe me, they know. We should never forget that Nigerian footballers are big time pros. Who doesn’t want to win games or who does not want to play at the world cup? It is the dream of every footballer.

So what is wrong?

The thing is in Nigeria; almost everything is done wrongly at the national level. The system is bad. So it is not even a football affair. For all I care, let them change the coach, then they will discover that the problems might even get worse. Foreign coaches don’t understand the Nigerian mentality or factors and they have failed woefully. It took Westerhof quite some time to get used to the system, then he achieved some good results. His saving grace was continuity. After him, Nigerian football has lacked continuity. We want instant achievements; we are always in a hurry.

The administration of football in Nigeria just like every thing about our public life needs a new face and a new life. When those who know about football and those who are good administrators take over the running of Nigerian football, we will return to our glorious past and start to achieve better results again. This is the same thing with our political dilemma. When we learn to do things the right way, we will get back on track and save ourselves from the poverty that now dominates.

For the Super Eagles, they don’t need a new coach. While I am not professing to know it all or to have the magic formula, I will offer my own suggestions.

Since the world cup is around the corner, it will be foolishness to sack Amodu. Amodu should be allowed to go to the world cup. It is under him that we got the ticket. Ha has done so before and was rudely sacked. It should not happen again.

I think we should work on three areas for the world cup:

1. We should work on the technical aspect of the game, and this does not mean a new coach. There are ways to go about this. Amodu can learn a lot in 3-4 months. How this can be achieved is known to those who know about football. This is what the NFF should be thinking about. How can we, in the short time we have to the world cup, give Amodu the best Technical knowledge that he needs? Can we do this by bringing Siasia or Keshi to the national team? Nigeria must find a Nigerian answer to the technical problems in the team. A foreign coach will destroy what is left of Amodu’s Super Eagles. The outcome of finding a new coach may be negative as we saw in France 98 and Japan Korea 2002.

2. The second aspect is divided into two and it concerns the players. Their collective mentality and physical strengths should be worked on. The team has a psychologist as I will like to believe. He or she must work on the mental strengths of the players. How that is done is left to the professionals in that field. There is something wrong with the way Nigerian players perform on the field of play that is now right. That must be addressed. Sometimes it appears that they are concentrating on something else instead of the game. This is just my opinion. AND I sincerely believe the team needs a physical trainer to work on their perseverance, endurance and strength.

3. The team does not have a maestro or libero. In the 80s we had late Muda Lawal in the midfield. In the 90s we had Keshi and then Oliseh followed by Okocha. These men controlled the game and dictated the pace of play for the Nigerian teams. What these men do or don’t do really mattered for the Nigerian team. After Okocha, we have had no new commander for the team. There is no one in the Nigerian team who can hold the ball as needed and distribute “sharp” passes with precision.

Yobo is the captain but playing in the defence does not really give you the possibility to dictate the pace of play. Kanu is definitely not the one as age has caught up with him. Uche and Mikel Obi have not been able to play that role. I am convinced that there must be a Nigerian player either in the local league or abroad who can do this job. We must find him!!!

This is where I have my criticism for the coach. As a coach you must find a libero or commander for the team. It doesn’t have to be the captain. You need someone who the game revolves around. It is an essential element of football. I watched Nigerian games and I see a sailing boat without a steering captain. I see an auto-pilot plane. It doesn’t work when your opponent is well equipped.

I know that my views are not perfect but I am very uncomfortable to read or hear about Nigeria looking for a new coach. That is definitely fattening of some people’s pockets and the beginning of new problems.

The issue of the ages of our footballers and how this affects the quality of their outputs is another matter entirely-beyond the scope of this discussion.

Good luck Nigeria..!

Nigeria qualify for South Africa 2010

African Representatives at the 2010 World Cup

Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroun, Nigeria and Host South Africa are African representatives at the 2010 World Cup. Either Egypt or Algeria will join the list after the play off coming up in Sudan.

I didn’t believe that it was possible for the Tunisians to give up their lead to Nigeria in the final game when they lost to Mozambique in Maputo and Nigeria beat Kenya away from home. I mean, if Nigeria was the country on top before the last games I wouldn’t want her to slip. I still feel so sorry for the Tunisians: they blamed the heat in Maputo and the artificial surface.

Mozambique has a very strong home record plus the fact that they wanted to qualify for the Africa nations’ cup-Angola 2010. They took their destiny in their own hands because Nigeria could have lost to Kenya anyway. But Nigeria survived even to my own surprise beating Kenya 3 goals to 2. One of the goals seemed to me like it was scored from the offside position. Why the referee overlooked is best known to him or Fifa rules that lies somewhere. Yakubu Aiyegbeni appeared to be alone in the Kenya 6 yard box when he netted for Nigeria.

Congratulations to the Super Eagles of Nigeria. However they do know that they will need more than luck at the Mundial in 2010. It is up to the Nigerian Football Federation to put things in order even before the Nations Cup in Angola. Going to the world cup with a fire brigade approach, ineptitude and useless preparations will be catastrophic for Nigeria. Nigeria should start preparing for the World Cup in South Africa today.

FIFA, Nigeria and Under-17 age cheat: Leave Amiesimaka alone

A message to FIFA

by Adeola Aderounmu.

Amiesimaka is an ex-international for the Nigerian Green Eagles. He wrote about the Nigerian under-17 team and that there are overage players in the Nigerian team. He is right! Nigeria always field players who are older than 17 and that is why many of the boys disappear into thin air after the competitions. Only a negligible percentage of them play football for 5 or 10 years more after the age competitions.

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) should leave Amiesimaka alone and stop deceiving the world. As Nigerians we cannot deceive ourselves, we know the truth. Of course there are several countries fielding over age players in these FIFA age group competitions. The only way out is for FIFA to disqualify teams/ countries that cheat. For example countries that cheat should face ban of up to 10 years. Without that FIFA is just wasting time with these age-group competitions, esp the under 17. It’s all rubbish!

Some people argue that Amiesimaka would have been mute if he was part of the LOC. That can be argued. If he was in the LOC, maybe he would have prevented over age players from being registered. Perhaps he could have used his experience to assist NFF in identifying over age players that are not detected or tested by the MRI used by FIFA. We will never know the role that Amiesimaka would have played if he was in the LOC. But it is stupidity to think or conclude that he would be a part to age-cheat. It is carelessness to think that he would encourage that.

The ball is always back to FIFA’s court. The players that Amiesimaka have pointed out should be tested by the MRI. If the players are found to have lied about their ages, Nigeria should be disqualified and sent packing. The country should be disqualified for a decade if possible. As mentioned earlier FIFA should intensity the MRI and try to detect if other countries have also cheated. To do nothing about this allegation is to further encourage corruption in football. It will be true to speculation that football is run like a mafia organisation-that host country/team for example can get away with football crimes.

For us as a country we need men and women of honour. We need people who can speak the truth and live by it. We live in a country in search of honour and integrity. We live in a time when corruption, lies, deceit, unfaithfulness and political madness have destroyed our sense of social responsibilities (including sports). Somewhere along the line (with revelations like this one from Amiesimaka) there are still signs of hope that Nigeria will rise again. This will only be possible with men and women of honour who have what it takes to lead by good examples.

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