By Jacob Ajom
Veteran coach and one-time play-maker of the defunct Red Devils, (as the Nigerian National team was then called), Alhaji Amusa Shittu, has said Nigerians should hold the Nigeria Football Federation and national team coach, Shuaibu Amodu, responsible if Nigeria fails to qualify for the South Africa 2010 World Cup, the first to be held on African continent.
In an exclusive interview with Sports Vanguard, Thursday, the ex-international said the precarious situation the Super Eagles find themselves in the qualifiers was the direct result of what the Nigeria Football Federation planned and executed.
â€œThey are reaping from what they planned,â€ he said sarcastically, adding that â€œno team survives the kind of intrigues being perpetrated at the football house.â€
He pointed to the â€œunfairâ€ removal of former NFA chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, whom he described as the best football administrator, north of the country and the imposition of the present Alhaji Sani Lulu-led board.
â€œThey know nothing about football administration as they have shown. They have nothing to offer.â€Alhaji Shittu who played for Nigeria between 1959 and 1972,Â said that due to their limited knowledge about the sport, NFF officials had injected fear into the Super Eagles players. â€œThat is why you find them jittery each time they play.â€
He wondered why so much was being dangled to theÂ players even before matches are played.â€œThey feel that is the only way they can win,â€ he said, asking, â€œis that part of the training they give the players,?â€
He therefore called for the appointment of a high ranking government official as the NFF chairman. â€œIn our time, a chief justice of the federation was the NFA chairman. For instance, if a man like Mike Aondooaka, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice was the NFA boss, would there have been any need for a PTF? Players canâ€™t mess around if a man like that brings a message to them from the president.â€
On Coach Amodu, Adisa who was nick-named The Bulldozer in his playing days said the coach has failed.
â€œHow many training sessions has he held with the team since he took over from Berti Vogts?â€ he asked, saying that the sweat merchant had failed to utilise the many opportunities that came his way to build a solid national team for the country.
He queried Amoduâ€™s competence, saying that frequent friendly matches would have done the trick. â€œInstead of criticising his players on the pages of newspapers, calling them average players, I believe there were better ways he should have gone about the situation.â€
â€œI believe there are still very many good coaches in this country, but the NFF has an agenda they have been implementing, that is what they are reaping now. I feel strongly that we should forget about the 2010 World Cup because the God we are praying to see Tunisia stumble is the same God that created them. Letâ€™s forget it.â€