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These are trying times – Maigari

Nigeria Football Federation president, Aminu Maigari is yet to come to terms with the performance of the U-23 team, which lost 2-1 to Senegal in their second match at the on-going Olympic qualifiers in Morocco.

Maigari looking pale and drained described the loss, which has denied them the chance of playing football at the London Olympics next year as a national disgrace.

“It is disappointing. It’s unbelievable. It’s a shame. In fact, it is a national disgrace”, he said still looking for words that could describe the shame of the day. “I’ve never seen this type of team. Its painful”, he sighed apparently weighed down by the burden of failures of the national team in recent times.

“What didn’t we do for these teams?”, he asked to no one in particular. “We gave them everything. We made sure they were comfortable. They trained for three months. The coach had a free hand and even when it was not expedient for him to go abroad to look for players, we allowed him so that he would not use it as an excuse for failure. We did our best for the team”, he said, looking really miserable and inconsolable on the wobbly performance of the team.

He stated that Nigeria has never had it so bad in its football history.

“These are trying times for Nigerian football. We never had it this bad. But like all things, there comes a time of mourning and a time for laughter. We are saddened by the performance of the teams but we are optimistically looking forward that the future holds greater things.

“We won’t stop from providing all the enabling environment for the teams. We are marching forward with great optimism that the good times would come and eclipse the trying times. As a board, we have provided everything for the teams and their coaches and distanced ourselves from interfering lest it be used as an excuse for failure.

We have over-depended on professionals and they are not the answer. We need to look inwards and groom players. I believe in developing players. Our future lies with the young players who are groomed at home”.



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