AS global attention begins to shift to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, Nigerians are worried with the nonchalant attitude that has characterisedÂ the Super Eagles preparation for the competition. One of such Nigerians is Brig. General Emmanuel Okaro (rtd) who says that poor administrative input from the Nigeria Football Association, NFAÂ is a major cause for concern.
The avid golfer cum football administrator says it is unfortunate that with a few days to the kick-off of the competition, the Eagles cannot be said to be prepared for the event.
In a chat with Sunday Vanguard sports, Brig. General Okaro said that with the poor and slowÂ preparation, the NFA should makeÂ provision on howÂ players psychology can be handled in order not to affect them when the competition starts.
According the NPL Match Commissioner, players need a psychologist in order for them to be sound mentally, if they want a meaningful outingÂ at the World Cup.
â€œI do not know how we are going to get toÂ the end of this problem in Nigerian football. What I think is that the administration has actually failed. If the administration is not well grounded, things like this will continue to happen,â€ he said.
When asked if Nigeria has quality players that can do the country proud at the Mundial, he said there is a rich pool ofÂ talents but that the NFA should focus on the psychological aspect of the players because it will go a long way in helping the team
â€œWe have quality players that can do Nigeria proud, they just need toÂ work on the psychology of the players. Get a good psychologists to work on the players so that they will concentrate and put in their best.
On the lack of friendly matches, I do want to blame coachÂ Lagerback because most of our players are playingÂ in Europe and they are key players in their clubs which makes it difficult for their coaches to release them. Our problem is that we have players in the localÂ league that are neglected. They should have camped them, get them prepared so that when the foreign players come, they join them.
Look at South Africa, they camped their league players for a month and they are now in good shape but oursÂ is not done like that. We just focus our attention only on our foreign players. The problem is from theÂ federation and the league board. But whatever the situation is, they must ensure that even if it is three weeks left,Â training must be intense with a good psychologist employed to work with the team. This will enable them concentrate and play out their heart,â€he said.