By Philips Adefioye
InterferenceÂ of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, concerning the invitation of players forÂ national team assignments has been pointed out as one of the major causes for the poorÂ performance of the Super Eagles at major competitions.
Former player of the defunct New Nigerian Bank Football Club of Benin, Lawrence Orairo in made this declaration in an interview with Saturday Vanguard, pointing out that the NFF never allows the coaches they appoint to do their work, preferring the ones that will dance to their tune.
â€œThe problem of non performance of coaches in our national teams is from the NFF. They interfere with the teams as the coaches are not given free hands to perform their duties. This is because they have interest in the players, they have their own players they want to make the team.
â€œIn those days we were selected based on our performance not by connection but now if you donâ€™t have a back bone to fight for you, no matter how good you are, even if you are better than Maradona, the chance will not be given to you to wear the national colourâ€.
Orairo stressed that the situation that Super Eagles faced at the Nations cup in Angola was based on the interference from the NFF, adding that the players who were match fit were dropped simply because of their favoured players.
â€œGetting to semi final at the Nations Cup was simply luck. The coach should not be blamed because a coach who is looking forward to better his coaching profile will never think of selecting bench warners to represent the country in a competition like the Africa Cup of Nations if there is no pressure from his employers,â€ he said.
The one time Insurance of Benin defender figured out that for Nigeria to do well and not disgraced at the World Cup in South Africa later in June, new players must be injected into the team while flushing out the non performing ones.
He suggested that the NFF should leave Amodu alone and employ someone like Stephen Keshi and Samson Siasia to assist him in order have a formidable team. â€œWe need a change in the team. Change is the only thing that is permanent, if some good players are infused into the team, we will perform up to expectation at the World Cup. If Keshi and someone like Siasia are employed to assist him, we will have a formidable team at World Cup,â€he suggested
Orairo however, lamented that the Europe based players seem to have two standards of play, one for their club and the other for the national team, adding that it is the lower standard that they give to the country which is not good enough.
â€œThese players have two standards of play, one for their clubs and another for the national team. It is painful seeing these players give their country lower standard, we watch them playing wonderfully well for their clubs but when they come to play for their country, they give us some thing below what we expect.â€said Orairo.