By Jacob Ajom
Amidst growing pressure from Nigerians making a case for the inclusion of two or three home-based players in the Angola 2010 Africa Cup of Nations bound national team, Chief coach, Amodu Shuaibu has come out in unequivocal terms to dismiss such calls as ill informed.
Amodu who was speaking in a television interview on AIT, stated that critics of his list of players invited for camping were not sound in their reasoning as he again insisted that he would go for those he trusted; a trust he built during the qualifiers.
â€œI donâ€™t see why people are talking about home-based players when they were not part of the squad that qualified us for the tournament,â€ Amodu said, adding that the pre-tournament camping would last for only seven days.
â€œI will not be fair to my profession if I assure the ones in camp now of a place in my squad because seven days wonâ€™t be enough for me to assess them adequately. I wonâ€™t be stupidÂ to do that.â€
In the strongest defense of the list of invited of players released last week, Amodu said he should not be seen as an enemy of the local league or home-based players.
While begging Nigerians not to crucify him, Amodu made a veiled reference to structural defects in the system. Said he, â€œThere was a programme put in place for the home-based players. Has anybody asked questions about what has become of that programme?â€
He was however full of encouraging words for the few that were invited to the pre-tournament camping in South Africa. â€œThey will be in camp and understudy the professionals. This will help them in future.â€
The coach also took a swipe at those who said he invited players who are unfit to camp. Speaking on Wolfsburg of Germany forward, Obafemi Martins, Amodu said â€œeverybody knows that Martins would be fit before the Nations Cup. Is that the injured player people are talking about?â€ he asked quizzically.
The sweat merchant called on the press to chose what passes through their media. â€œWe in the business of reporting this game should know where to draw the line on what to report. Not everything said by even an idiot should be given undue prominence.â€