By Kate Obodo
Former Green Eagles goalkeeper Joe Erico and Delta State Football Association chairman, Pinnick Amaju have faulted Super Eagles Chief Coach, Shaibu Amodu on his decision not to give the home-based players he invited for the Nations Cup camping a chance to star for the team.
Speaking separately on two different radio stations monitored in Lagos at the weekend, both football administrators argued that though the coach has the final say on who gets invited for competitions, it was out of place to exclude players from the local league.
Speaking on Ray Power FM, Amaju who doubles as the Chairman of the Delta Sports Council said there are many players in the local league especially from Bayelsa United, Kano Pillars, Enyimba, Heartland and Warri Wolves that can compete for shirts with the Europe-based players.
â€œAmodu should give the home-based players a chance because many of them from Bayelsa United, Kano Pillars, Heartland and Warri Wolves can make the Super Eagles,â€ he said.
Erico, who worked with Amodu in 2002, told Metro FM that Nigerian players in Europe started from the local league and got to where they are today because they were given a chance in the national team, stressing that it was therefore surprising that they could be ignored by Amodu.
â€œIt is sad that he (Amodu) said no player from the local league is good enough to play for the Eagles in Angola. Almost allÂ the players from this country playing abroad were born here and started playing from the league here. They should be given a chance to show their skill,â€ he said, stressing that â€œbut again it is the coachâ€™s decision.â€
When told to pick between Elderson Echiejile and Taye Taiwo who should play at the left back position for the Eagles, Amaju said that is as much as he believes Taiwo is a good player, when put side by side with Echiejile, he would prefer the Edo-born defender.
According to him, Echiejile who plays in the same French league as Taiwo â€œis young, very creative and skilful. He is like Brazilâ€™s Roberto Carlos even though he doesnâ€™t have powerful shots like Carlos.â€
Amaju added that if well prepared, the Super Eagles â€œcan match any team in the Nations Cup.â€