By Tony Ubani
Ignatius Okeaghilam, the chairman of Heartland whose club narrowly escaped a home defeat in the CAF Champions League Sunday gave an insight to he felt caused Nigeria’s ouster from Africa’s Local Nations Cup and pointed out how the defeat could have been avoided. Niger beat Nigeria 2-0 at home and held Nigeria to a goalless draw in Kano.
â€œI don’t think we lack the boys who could have beaten Niger. The time was very short for the coaches to prepare a team from our local league. What the football association could have done was to engage one top club, a club like Heartland who are playing in the continent and ask them to represent Nigeria.
Because of the understanding such a team could boast of,Â they would have done better than the so called home-based national team. Even if there would be need to include other players, they would be very few. I say this because of the time factor.
These are things that are alien to the football association, so they cannot absolve themselves totally of blame. I blame them and the coaches for not finding solution to the problem of time. The other time, they invited six of our players and used only two.
Why didn’t they invite the only two they were sure of? I strongly believe the coaches could have done better. The problem wasn’t the lack of players but the lack of proper management of the situation by the coaches and the association.