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Administrators bane of Eagles, says Utaka

By Philips Adefioye
Super Eagles forward, John Utaka has blamed the team’s dwindling fortunes on partial administrators just as he debunked rumours of his withdrawal from the national team, describing it as untrue as he was still ready to contribute his best for the country.

•Utaka in action for Portsmouth

“The dwindling fortune that has bedevilled Nigerian football was as a result of the attitude of our administrators who believe that they are the Alpha and the Omega of the game. That has killed our morale because some players who are not worthy to be in the national team, are the ones commanding first team shirts, Utaka lamented.

Continuing, he said, “I am still a national team player, the rumour that I have quit the Super Eagles is absolutely untrue. Concerning the international friendly match between the Eagles and South Korea in August, if am invited, I am fully ready to serve my country.”

On the interim board of the Nigeria Football Association, NFA, Utaka, told Saturday Vanguard sports that he was not aware of such a board but would work with any administration and any coach appointed to handle the team.

The former Rennes of France striker said anybody, whether a foreigner or indigenous coach,  can handle national team, adding that what Nigerians and the players want was good football.

“Anybody can coach us, either a white coach or our indigenous coach. If the coach is Austin Eguavoen, I have worked with him before, at the 2006 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia. If he has been given the mandate again, all well and good, I am still going to work with him,”he stressed.

Utaka, who did not kick the ball once at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, advised that the interim board of the NFA should swing into action ahead of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea to know the next generation of  Eagles they will be building for the 2013 Nations Cup 2013 in Libya and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“The invitation to the national team now should be on merit, based on your performance in either your European club or local club.

The technical crew should throw the camp open in order to know the players who are truly fit for selection.Concerning  his club career, he said that it is certain that he will be leaving Portsmouth.


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