By Kate Obodo
The appointment of Lars Lagerback as technical adviser of the Super Eagles few months to the 2010 World Cup has been described as a very big mistake by the Nigeria Football Association, NFA.
Former vice chairman of the NFA, Barrister Richard Nwabufo Obienu said the present confusion which has engulfed the Eagles World Cup preparation is a vindication on the fears he raised when Shaibu Amodu was about being given the boot after the heart-rending performance of the team at the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola last January.
He said he suggested at the time that instead of sacking Amodu, the Edo-born gaffer should be supported with other indigenous coaches like Stephen Keshi, Samson Siasia and Sylvanus Okpala but the advice fell on deaf ears.
â€œI said it at that time that what they (NFA) did was the greatestÂ mistake Nigerian football made, that getting Lagerback was the greatest mistake Nigeria will ever make in football.Â And I do not want to predict doom, the man is still confused, he is still thinking ofÂ players that will fit into his plans.
â€œWe are in May and the World Cup is in June. I do not know what the new coach will do because he is still battling with the players. It is not how well a player plays,Â it is the mental state of the player and attitude that matters.
That isÂ why I saidÂ they should have allowed Amodu to take the players to the World Cup, and get people like Sylvanus Okpala, Samson Siasia and Keshi to join him. ButÂ I just pray that I will be proved wrong, because if I say it is going to be a disaster, it means that I am praying for Nigeria to lose. IÂ just pray that in the next six weeks, the NFA will discover the greatest mistake they did by removingÂ Amodu.
â€œIt is going to be a national mistake and there is a spiritual angle to it. Somebody who qualified this country for the second time wasÂ not allowed to reap from what he sewed, the spiritual consequence is catastrophe. Being a Christian, I know thereÂ is physical and spiritual consequencies and you can not run away from it .But like a true Nigerian, I want to be proven wrong,â€ he concluded.