By Tony Ubani, in South Africa
CHIEFÂ Â Executive Officer of the 2010 World Cup, Dr Danny Jordaan expressed regret at the decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to withdraw from participating in international competitions following the heart-wrenching performance of the Eagles in the World Cup.
Jordaan was speaking yesterday at the Mandela Square in Guateng where he briefed the World Press on the journey so far in the World Cup.
A question about the Nigerian decision was asked and he blushed and said that it was not only Nigeria but also France. â€œIt is not only Nigeria. Even the French Government took harsher decisions. FIFAâ€™s position on government interference is so clear onâ€, he said.
Another question was asked on the greatest African flops of the 2010 World Cup. Danny retorted; â€œwhich country are you from?â€. And when told I was from Nigeria, the whole hall erupted in laughter and he said that he would not answer the question because â€œit was un-Africanâ€. â€œFrankly, I am disappointed with the performance of African teams in the World Cup. One expected so much from them. But you can as well say that the African teams were unlucky in the seeding. They found themselves in tough groups. Over all, we have to think of preparations. It is so vital for the good performance of teams. Another sour point for the dismal performance of African teams is the age factor.
What is the real ages of the African players who played in the World Cup compared to others? We all saw that Ghana won the U-20 World Cup in Egypt. The bulk of the players are here and doing Africa proud. We have to invest in grassroots because it is the key. But we also saw the Nigerian team play in the finals of the U-17 World Cup.
The truth is that if you do not do well in primary school, High School, there is no how you can be a star in the University. That is what Ghana have shown us and we are proud of them. We are solidly behind them and hoping that they go all the way to win the World Cupâ€, Jordaan who also spoke on security, handling of the facilities after the World Cup and dealing with defectors after the world Cup said.