By Richard Animam
President General of Nigerian Football Supporters Club Dr. Rauf Ladipo has called on Nigerians to sheathe their swords and support Super Eagles Technical Adviser Lars Lagerback as the Swede prepares to lead Nigeria to the first World Cup to hold on African soil.Â Ladipo said the overwhelming call for a foreign coach came as a result of Nigeriaâ€™s poor performance in Angola, where Nigeria won bronze but did so in a tasteless manner.
According to him, his support for the Swede goes beyond the fact that he would lead Nigeria to the World Cup but also help develop Nigerian football. â€œI am happy there is a clause in his contract, which stipulates that he must develop Nigerian football, so his job is not just the World Cup. I am also glad that some Nigerians have been engaged to under study him, so that they can learn from the manâ€™s wealth of experience.
â€œThe problem with our team in Angola was obvious. They played poorly. There were tournaments where we did not win but Nigerians were happy that we played well. But it was the opposite in Angola. Now that we have a foreign coach, we have a duty to support him and help get good resultsâ€, Ladipo said.
On Amoduâ€™s threat to take his case to the court of arbitration to seek redress, Ladipo said he believes Amodu should be appreciated for qualifying Nigeria to the World Cup but was also of the view that he and the NFA will settle their differences amicably.
â€œAmodu was not sacked, he was redeployed, so I do not see the need going to the arbitration court. It was a general view that even though the Super Eagles came back with the third place prize, they failed to impress with their performance in Angola. And the call for a foreign coach was loud and clearâ€, Ladipo said.
Amodu qualified Nigeria for South Africa and had expected that he would be part of the coaching crew to the World Cup even with the coming of a technical adviser. A poor team performance in Angola saw the NFA change its mind and decided to take Austin Eguavoen and Daniel Amokachi as assistants to Lagerback. A decision that goes contrary to the agreement between Amodu and the NFA.
Meanwhile, the first vice Chairman of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club [NFSC], Vincent Okumagba, has declared its memberâ€™s maximum supports towards enhancing the performance ofÂ Lagerback ahead of the World Cup.
â€œWe need to rally round him and his team to make them succeed at the Mundial proper,â€ he said in Lagos.
According to him, the duty of the supporters clubÂ is to keep praying and mobilizing total support for the team and the new Super Eagles handler before, during and even after the World Cup.
The Oil and Gas business man believes that the coming of the new tactician will help inÂ re-branding the Super Eagles that can stand the test of time especially when the chips are down. HeÂ charged Lagerback and his team to leave up to expectation by taking the game to the next level in Nigeria.