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Nigeria can rank among best four in the world if … – Bonfrere

By Philips Adefioye
Former Super Eagles technical adviser Bonfere Jo who was in Lagos last weekend to be part of the testimonial match of former Eagles captain, Nwankwo Kanu has scored the present senior national team in low marks, stressing that the team has not taken its rightful position among countries in the world.

Bonfere  who led Nigeria to Africa’s first Olympic football gold in 1996 with Kanu as captain said that Nigeria has talented players and therefore should be among the best four football nations in the world if there is proper programme for the development of the round leather game in the country.

Bonfere who assisted fellow Dutch, Clemens Westerhof to win Nigeria’s first Nations Cup trophy outside the country in Tunisia in 1994 hinted that he desires to come back to coach the Super Eagles again based on abundant talents in the country but that there are some forces who do not want the dream to come to reality.

L-R, Coach Bonfrere Jo, Dr. Tijani Yusuf, Gov Babatunde Fashola, Coach Joe Erico and Coach Stephen Keshi during the match between Super Eagles and Friends of Kanu. Photo by Sylvia Eleanya.

He figured out that the missing link in Nigeria football was good administration to supervise  the affairs of the game, adding that no matter how good a coach is, he cannot make any head way without being rugged and a good leader.

“The present position of the Nigeria national team is not the position the country should be in  football. The country should be among the best four nations in the world if proper channel was applied for the development of the game in the country. Instead of the development of the game, the opposite is the situation. The country’s  football should be appreciating not depreciating.

“What I did in the country’s national team was historic but there is a missing link and the missing link is that you must be a strong as coach, you must be a leader and organiser which is the basic point to build a team, and if you don’t have these  as a coach, you cannot build up a good team.

“My dream is to come back to Nigeria to handle the national team once more. There are some people who want me to come back to coach the national team, they did it in 1998 as well as in 2010 for the World Cup in South Africa but there are forces who did not let that come to reality.

“If I had been given that coaching job, I will definitely bring in my wealth of experience, my discipline and organization and get the best  of the country’s players both at home and abroad, that is the work of the coach” said Bonfere.


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