ByÂ Patrick Omorodion
During the week, the story that former Super Eagles forward and assistant coach, Daniel Amokachi asked that his boss, Lars Lagerback be sacked made headlines. Some fans reacted online, calling Amokachi names and asking that he shuts up.
In the story, Amokachi was not quoted directly but the website which did the story was quoting a faceless top official of the discredited Nigeria Football Association, NFA that Amokachi saidÂ Lagerbackâ€™s contract should not be renewed because the Swede was â€œnot good enough and only deceived Nigerians to get the jobâ€.
The story further stated that the former Everton of England player told the sports minister, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio that â€œLagerback cannot help Nigerian football and that the former Sweden coach only deceived everyone into believing that he has the answers to the many problems of the game in the country.â€
This statement should not be taken with the pinch of salt because Amokachi is an insider and should know whether Lagerback deceived everybody or if it was the NFA that actually deceived Nigerians by declaring the Swede as the best among the coaches they interviewed.
Whether Amokachiâ€™s disclosure was borne out of patriotism or personal interest is not the issue here but the truth must be told and the probe of the NFA over financial impropriety as well as the fraud that was Lagerbckâ€™s employment should be thorough.
Contrary to Amokachiâ€™s claim that Lagerback deceived everybody, the NFA to be specific, was not completely correct. Lagerbck was allegedly aided to deceive Nigerians by the NFA top hierarchy to spite the Presidential Task Force, PTF.
According to a source close to both the NFA and the PTF, Lagerback was not in the picture to grab the Super Eagles job. Glenn Hoddle led in the interview and was to be named the new coach but the NFA played a fast one by arranging to have Lagerback also interviewed.
Our source revealed that the NFA did what could be described as an expo, leaking the questions asked other applicants to Lagerback and provided him with slides of Eagles past matches to study. With this the Swede was able to give accurate description of the playersâ€™ strong points and weaknesses before the panellists.
It was the greatest deception of all times and Hoddle got wind of it hence his Nigerian contact cried foul and exposed the deal but nothing came out of it because the NFA big wigs had made up their mind to hire Lagerback who they could dictate to.
Any surprise why Victor Anichebe was dropped for injured and unfit players? Why John Mikel Obi was touted to be fit and ready for the North Korea friendly until he opted out by himselfÂ to avoid ridicule? Why Obiâ€™s replacement, Brown Ideye got to camp without the knowledge of Lagerback?
Even if Amokachi waited too long to cry out, he should not be ignored as being part of the problem, but his call should be looked into before the remnants of the Sani Lulu led NFA force Lagerback on the Super Eagles again.
But the Swedish press warned the NFA that they were going for a â€˜junkâ€™ coach and they never listened. Ostensibly because of what they stood to gain from employing someone they gave answers to questions he would be asked in an interview. Who lost? Nigeria, definitely not Lagerbck and not the greedy lot at the NFA.