BY PHILIPS ADEFIOYE
FORMER chairman of Gombe State Football Association, Alhaji Ahmed Gara Gombe has said that the inability of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to map out good programmes for the Green Eagles is the reason why they were unable to soar higher than the Tunisians last Sunday in Abuja.
Gombe told Sunday Vanguard sports in a telephone interview that the 2-2 draw against the Tunisians was a big disgrace which the NFF should be ashamed of and should stop talk about the countryâ€™s remaining qualifying matches.
Gombe emphasised that the presentÂ Eagles should be disbanded, adding that new foreign players who are committed should be called to join some good home-based players from the local league to form a new national team that will bring back the lost glory.
â€œThis present team should be disbanded while we raise some new players from our local league. I believe raising players from Enyimba, Heathland and Kano Pillars we will definitely form a good national team. The Eagles showed lack of seriousness, commitment and they were not ready to give their best to Nigerians after collecting $10,000 before the Abuja match.
President Yarâ€™Adua should use the Presidential Task Force to prosecute the remaining matches and as well raise a new team,â€ Alhaji Gombe opined, adding that the remaining money raised by the PTF should be used to thinker the Samson Siasia-tutored Flying Eagles for the U-20 World Cup holding in Egypt.
He advised that the next generation ofÂ Eagles should be built from the present Flying Eagles as he suggested that they should be taken to the 2010 Nations Cup holding in Angola. He said Nigerians should exercise some patience with them (Flying Eagles), â€œIf they fail to get to the quarter finals or semi finals, (because) before the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, they would have become the team to beat.â€
Gombe implored the Sports Minister/Chairman of the National Sports Commission,NSC, Sani Ndanusa not to handle the NFF with kid gloves but wieldÂ his power in order to unearth the dirty dealings in the football, including, the missing $236,000, all the gate fee they collected or the amount they made from selling some of the qualifiers since they commenced, sponsorship money as well as all theÂ FIFA grants they have received till date.
He said that if they are unable to account for all the money, the EFCC and the ICPC should be invited to probe them.
â€œThe NFF board members have called us all sort of names, critics, enemies of progress and unpatriotic Nigerians, but now who is more patriotic, we or them. It is indeed a calamity and embarrassment to the country.
What I will want Mr President to do is to declare a state of agency on football in this country for four years, in order for us to have a solid football developmental programme, where we can develop a new national team from,â€ he said.
Concerning the NFF apology, he said, â€œWhy are they apologising, why did they not apologise when they failed in the Nations Cup in Ghana, when the Golden Eaglets failed to qualify for the U-17 Championship in Algiers and the women championship?
â€œWe donâ€™t need their apology, the best thing for them to do is to resign with immediate effect because enough is enough,â€Gombe stressed