By Philips Adefioye
Former Super Eagles player, Emeka Ezeogu hasÂ hit hard on the personalities running football in the country, attributingÂ the inability of the Super Eagles to be among the super powers in the game to â€œwrong people who are running football in the country.â€
Ezeogu said that instead of the prosperity of the game in the country, it was the opposite which has brought down Eaglesâ€™ respect in the game of football.
â€œWe never learn from past mistakes, we never learn from the people who do it better than us. We have a lot of people who think they know. The game is flooded with a lot of people who have no business being there but they refuse to bring in experts, the technocrats who can help them. Our football has gone into the hands of politicians who make their own decisions the way they want.â€
The one time Enyimba of Aba engine room lamented that it is not only in football but all ex-athletes have been discarded like used clothing, adding that he could not remember when an ex athlete has been given honour that is due to him or her.
â€œIâ€™m not surprised that former sports men and women prefer to live abroad because of the way things are run in our country. The government uses our ex athletes and dump themÂ like used condoms whenever they feelâ€.
He hinted that the technical crew of the senior national team should not wait for the premier league or professional league players before they can discover talents, they should network the nook and crannies of this country and they would see abundant talents playing without clubs, adding that people like Henry Nwosu, Chibuzo Ehilegbu and Tarila Okorowanta were discovered from secondary schools and they were playing for the club sides right from their secondary school days.
â€œIf you look around the country you can fish out talents that you donâ€™t need so much time to nurture or develop them, they just need the right stage to start performing. Those players are still much around, we need to go round, you donâ€™t just have to depend on the league. There are many good players withoutÂ clubs out there.
There are some States that breed players, for example Abia where I come from.Â A lot of people are not aware that Aba in Abia State has produced more national team players in this country than any state in this country,â€ he argued.
Ezeugo stressed that the only solution was that the ex internationals should rise up and fight for their right to take what belongs to them if Nigeria wants to gain back her lost glory in football.