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Enyeama bows out of international football – whither Nigerian football

Everything that is wrong with Nigeria is exactly what is happening to Nigerian Football.

Deceit, sitting on the fence on serious National issues, not calling a spade for what it is, and generally not being honest in our dealings with one another.

I have gone through the comments on “Enyeama Quits” in the Vangaurd Newspaper of today, Friday the 9th of October , 2015. I also read the comments of one Ademola Olajire – the Assistant Director, Communication of the NFF in ThisDay Newspaper and I found the comments so pedestrian. Why is Mr. Olajire pretending that the NFF does not know the reasons why Enyeama quit International Football.

A primary school pupil who loves football will sit Mr. Olajire down and lecture him on why Enyeama decided to quit International Football. No player wants to be begged to rescind his decision after such humiliation. People deserve respect.

Christian Chukwu, Henry Nwosu, and Adokiye Amiesimaka all got it dead right. If Nigeria’s “Pep Guadiola” – Mr Sunday Oliseh knew that he did not want Enyeama in his team, why did he invite him in the first place? Oliseh cannot in all honesty tell Nigerians that he is not aware of the role Enyeama has played in Nigerian Football these past years.

And Oliseh played in Europe. Can he honestly tell us that a Manager had never called him to give reasons why he may not be featuring him in a particular match?

That is a non – captain of a team, talk less of the Captain of the team! Oliseh talked about not having a player that is almost retiring as captain of his team-again this is bull shit!! I bet Oliseh knows a footballer and a goal keeper for that matter called Gianluca Buffen in Italy and Gordon Banks in England. Need I say more?

Yet the likes of Onigbinde back Oliseh in Enyeama saya! And he talked about courage – courage for doing a stupid thing! What is wrong with a player condemning a football pitch, Mr. Onigbinde? And not just a player but the Captain of the team. Its about time you sports journalist stopped asking the likes the likes of Onigbinde questions about our football, if we want to make progress.

We have this penchant for destroying things in Nigeria. I do not believe that Oliseh disbanded the team he met on ground when he was proclaimed the “Pep Guardiola” of Nigerian Football by Mr. Amaju Pinnick.

If he didn’t then Enyeama remains the captain of the team. And if he didn’t want Enyeama as captain, he would have had a private meeting with him and tell him why he would no longer be the captain. That is how things are done in a civilized setting where Oliseh played much of his football.

It is not a question of courage to send security men after someone who had served our nation so well in the past. It only showed immaturity and arrogance. Some of us have not forgotten the unionist role played by Oliseh during his time with the National Team. We are all waiting to read Mr. Amaju Pinnick’s comments on this awful incident.

As for Sani Ahmed Toro and Garba Lawal, sitting on the fence is their forte, so no real surprise in their comments. Oliseh was wrong and commentators should be brave to say so — period. Enyeama cannot be faulted for quitting International Football after such humiliation. Enyeama did not deliberately cause his going late to camp – he had to bury his mother for God’s sake. No sympathy from Oliseh in that respect — Haba!!!

Joe Erico – one of our notable goalkeepers said Enyeama should understand that he is serving the country and not his Coach, Sunday Oliseh! Mr. Erico, will Enyeama play for country if not selected by Sunday Oliseh, his Coach? Again, Oliseh did the wrong thing and the country should blame him accordingly.

I watched the match between Nigerian and the Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday. Did any body who watched the match see any good player in our team? Our media is too fond of praising our footballers playing in Europe and elsewhere to high heavens. Headlines such as “Murinho banks on Mike Obi to rescue Chelsea”, “Odion Ighalo can’t stop scoring goals for Watford” etc, yet these same players cannot perform when playing for their country. Can somebody please tell me why we are having these problems. DISHONESTY !!!

I also believe we tend to overate our abilities and ourselves. Who is DRC to beat us and yet they seem to beat us so regularly these days. How can “small” Ghana beat us — football is not played by the size of your population.

It is hard work, constant training and good team work forged by a capable but not arrogant coach. Did it ever occur to Oliseh that other footballers will feel really bad and disappointed that a long serving member of the team was so shabbily treated and humiliated – and a once upon a time captain of the team for that matter. Who else can Oliseh not humiliate?

I do think it is about time we go back to basics regarding our football. My generation will recall the hey days of secondary school football in Nigeria. Those were the days when good football was played at the King George the V stadium in Onikan. Schools like St. Finbarrs, Baptacad, Zummuratul, Ahamadiyya Grammar School etc in Lagos, Mulumba in Jos and other great footballing secondary schools all around Nigeria played excellent football with minimal coaching.

We had players like Muyiwa Osode, Peter Anieke, Sam Garba Okoye, Haruna Ilerika, Peter Fregene, Henry Nwosu, Stephen Keshi, Muda Lawal, Thompson Usiyen, Segun Odegbami, Sam Opone, Paul Hamilton, Amusa Shittu, Christian Chukwu, Emmanuel Okala, Inuwa Rigogo and so on and so forth. Except Stephen Keshi who actually started the professional train to play abroad and Henry Nwosu who accompanied Keshi to Ivory Coast, none of these other noted players played abroad.

These days a young boy who sits on the bench in any foreign country is a “professional” and is preferred to a “home based” player. How can our football improve when we do not scout for young talents from the grass roots? To our football managers —- Amaju Pinnick in particular, let us go back to the basics.

A.S. UMAR


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.