Coach Autin Egavoen was battling it out last night for 2012 Olympics soccer ticket and win or lose the football federation has decided to make it an official policy that local players constitute a certain percentage of the Olympic team.
The National Under 20 Team, the Flying Eagles will face the same music. The National Under 17 should be all home-based team- from youth teams etc.
The Federation President Aminu Magairi says he is determined to implement this policy when it is ratified by the Executive.
He said his experience in the youth teams influenced his decision.
“Why should our coaches not have confidence in our local players? Why are they always running to Europe even for U.17 players? This must stop. We saw that our first match against Morocco was bad. The team lacked coordination. They lacked good coaching because our coach had all his hopes on foreign-based players. If he set out from day one to prepare local players we would have had a better team than what we have here. It is good that these things are happening now so that we begin to plan in time. To the best of our knowledge, we will change things.
If we insist that 50 per cent of Under 20 or Under 23 team must be home-based players then the coaches will be compelled to work. Right now, they are not working hard enough but I know changes are coming. Take this from me.”
Maigari is in Morocco for the African Olympic qualifiers. After losing to Morocco 1-0 Saturday Nigeria were fighting to beat Senegal for a possible qualification.
Eagles coach Stephen Keshi is in Morocco as an observer but after the poor performance of the team against Morocco, the federation asked Keshi to help Eguavoen change the team and throughout the training sessions before yesterday’s match Keshi passed on useful contributions to Eguaven who is still in charge of his team and hoped that Nigeria would qualify.