By Jacob Ajom
The failure of Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Enugu Rangers in the CAF Champions League and their disgraceful ouster from the CAF Confederation Cup has again called to scrutiny the quality of the Nigerian league, the depth of its personnel and the direction of the local game.
Rivers United also crashed out of the Champions League and are only 90 minutes away from either progressing to the group stage of the Confederation Cup or say bye to the competition after recording a 2-0 win over Rayon Sports of Rwanda in Port Harcourt last Sunday. The return leg comes up in Kigali this weekend.
Earlier, FC IfeanyiUbah and Wikki Tourists of Bauchi were sent out of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Reviewing the trend in Lagos, Nigeria Football Federation Director of Communications, Demola Olajire condemned the performances of Nigerian teams in the continent pointing out that they did not commensurate the efforts being put into the league by the League Management Company.
He recalled with disgust, the reckless manner Rivers United lost out in the CAF Champions League against Al-Merreikh of Sudan. “Our local players are lazy and lack the winning mentality. They don’t have the cutting edge because you can see the way all the teams were knocked out of the continental competitions,” he said sadly.
“How else do you describe a team that won the first leg 3-0 at home to go and get eliminated after the second leg? It is a shame and local players have to take responsibility for their actions.”
Rivers United are the only surviving Nigerian team left in the continent as they travel to Kigali this weekend for the second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup against Rayon Sports of Rwanda. Rivers won the first leg 2-0 .