By Bridget Amaraegbu
AS tempers continue to rise over the defeat of Super Eagles Team B by the Menas of the Republic of Niger in the African Nations Championship qualifier, former national team coach, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde has blamed the slide in the game on the Nigerian system.
Speaking to Saturday Vanguard sports on telephone Thursday, Chief Onigbinde said Nigerians should not single out the Nigeria Football Association, NFA for blame but the entire system which threw up the present administrators in the football house in the first place. â€œThe problem is societal, I blame the system because it is the same system that installed members of the NFA. So, if the system can correct itself, then every aspect of this nation will be goodâ€, he said.
â€œWhen people blame the footballers for not being patriotic, I ask them to show me one political leader in this country who is patriotic. Where do you want them to learnt it (patriotism) from? Are they not part of Nigeria? Itâ€™s completely a societal problem,â€ the Modakeke High Chief said.
While ruing the loss of the Home-based Eagles to Niger last week, the CAF and FIFA instructor said that only members of the NFA can say whether the countryâ€™s football is dead technically.
â€œWhether our football is technically dead is left for the NFA to decide. Theyâ€™re the ones that can review the situation and tell us whether our football is moving forward or not,â€ he said.
According to the former coach of the Trinidad & Tobago youth team, everybody blames the local coaches each time they are perceived to have done badly but wondered what has be done by the relevant authorities to help develop them.
â€œIf you remember, I have been talking about development. These coaches they are pointing accusing fingers on, what have they done to develop them. Today they say they are not experienced and all that, but they have not been provided with the right avenue for development.
The only solution is to improve and develop our football. And when I say improve our football, it includes the coaches, referees, standard of play and coaching and the standard of administration. For me, that is the only way forward. If you donâ€™t improve, how do you achieve?â€, he queried.