March 8, 2010

Bob Osim decries Nigerian league, singles out Enyimba

By Jerry Asiegbu
Former Heartland captain, Bob Osim, has called for the inculcation of ex-internationals in the running of football in Nigeria to bring their experience to bear and to ensure stability of the game.

He spoke against the backdrop of the death on Saturday of former Dolphins player Endurance Idahor in Sudan while playing for his club El Merreikh.

He said Nigerian players have no business playing in Sudan and other smaller countries such as Togo and Senegal if the Nigerian League had been organised and made to run the proper way.

He said such unnecessary deaths of Nigerian players abroad would have been avoided if our league had been run by people who knew the game. He decried a situation where clubs do not honour agreements in paying sign-on fees and other entitlements due players.

Osim, who played for Enyimba for the 2004-2005 season enjoined clubs to support Austin Popo, the chairman of NFF Arbitration Committee, in the agitation for the formation of Nigeria Professional Footballers Association to cater for the welfare of players.

He appealed to the Nigeria Football Federation to look into the case of clubs owing players and ensure that such ugly trend does not continue. Osim singled out Enyimba of Aba as the only team that honour contracts, adding that it is a shame that Nigerian clubs have not explored the business aspect of running clubs by putting their jerseys and other club items on sale the way foreign clubs like Barcelona, Arsenal, Chelsea and others do.