By Tony Ubani
FORMER President of West African Football Union, WAFU, Chief Jonathan Ogufere, is relieved that Nigeria did not go ahead to hire Egyptian national coach, Hassan Shehata, to tinker the Eagles either on short or long term contract. â€œOur football would never have been the same again if we hired him.
Honestly, he would have been on a spy mission to Nigeriaâ€, Ogufere exhaled while welcoming Lars Lagerback and the process that led to his appointment.
â€œI am happy that we finally have a coach. And I know that the man may bring discipline to the team and select players based on their formâ€. Chief Ogufere who is a strong member of Association of Sports Veterans paid glowing tributes to the method adopted by both the Nigeria Football Association and the National Sports Commission that produced Lagerback. â€œI am happy with the way the whole thing was conducted. Everybody was given an opportunity and they got the best for the countryâ€.
He however advised the NFA to rise to the occasion to support the Swede to bring the desired changes and attain the semi final target given him by the soccer-ruling body. â€œI support the mandate given him and it is attainable. The world cup is not a jamboree and I believe that with the right mission and vision, the target can be met. But the admin must move with other structures. The attitude in the glass has to change to enable the new man attain the right altitude for a good outing in the world cupâ€.
Chief Ogufere also tasked Lagerback to haunt for talents in Nigeria as they abound in quantum. â€œTalents abound in Nigeria and I expect Lagerback to fish out new talents. Though time is short but he can make the best out of it. After all, Rashidi Yekini was highest goalscorer at home before blossoming in Cote dâ€™Ivoire. We have talents in this countryâ€, Ogufere who made case for Amodu Shuaibu to be accommodated in the team emphasised.