September 8, 2009

Oliseh calls for change

Former Nigeria captain Sunday Oliseh says that if Nigeria fail to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, football in the country must be overhauled.
Oliseh expressed his concern following Nigeria’s 2_2 home draw with Tunisia left them second in their group.



“The situation is now a dire one, because the only chance we have of going to the World Cup now is if Tunisia falters” he told BBC Sport.

Oliseh, who played for Nigeria at both the 1994 and 1998 World Cups said he had a feeling of deja vu.
“This is like old music playing all over again” he complained.
“It was the same situation [qualifying for the 2006 World Cup] with Angola. We drew with them at home and then we had to hope for Angola to falter. They did not falter and they went on to go to Germany and we didn’t”.

Oliseh said there have been problems with the team for the last seven years since his generation retired and criticised the running of the game in the country.
“Everything starts from the top. If the top isn’t right it trickles down to the bottom and the players are at the bottom end of the ladder because they are the ones that have to perform” he said.
“It’s no secret that we don’t have a federation” he said. “It’s no secret we don’t have a competent administration”.

However the former central midfielder believes the current administration and technical crew need to finish the job.
But if Nigeria don’t make it to South Africa Oliseh believes there needs to be a complete reshuffle at the Nigerian Football Federation.

“We have no choice” he said. “It would be a shame for this major tournament being held on our continent for the first time ever, not to have our country in it.
The former skipper still has a slim hope of Nigeria’s qualification. “It’s a doubtful one, but in football never say never” he said.