Mr. Onigbinde suggests training football coaches technically to enhance Nigeria’s football.
A former Super Eagles coach and FIFA/CAF technical committee member, Adegboye Onigbinde, has blamed the poor technical development of football in Nigeria for Nigeria’s premature exit from the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
In a chat with PREMIUM TIMES, the Septuagenarian heaped blames on the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, for their inability to create a functional technical department for the national teams.
“As a patriotic Nigerian, I am not happy that we are out,” Onigbinde said. “If there is any addition or correction to be made to the team, it will be the responsibility of the administration and the technical department/committee. I was not at the match, but there should have been a system on ground that would have analyzed all the performances of the team and each player individually.”
He blamed football administrators in Nigeria for not developing an adequate system by setting up developmental programmes.
“The problem is not with the Eagles; the problem is with Nigerian football. As of now, Nigeria football has no foundation, there’s no developmental programme, you cannot get it right unless you do it the right way, the administrators should sit down and re-organise their administrative set up,” he said.
As regards Keshi’s performance and if he should be sacked or retained, Onigbinde said, “From what I have seen so far, the problem is not the coaches or players, Keshi is not a problem either, but the ways we run our own football”.
“We have to develop the players and the coaches. In the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, the big clubs in Nigeria used to draw players from secondary schools. Where are those guys from secondary schools today? That is why I said our football has no foundation”.
Onigbinde said the coaches and players need to be trained technically.
“I have written series of papers on how to develop Nigeria football. The first paper I wrote was in the 1965, that was 49 years ago. All the issues I raised are still there till today.
“If I may give example, you are talking about Keshi, one of the main problems with the teams are the coaches because we do not empower the coaches technically. We need intelligent coaches,” he added.
“We have coaches who are ready to work, but you have to empower them technically. About five years ago at CAF level, we decided that all African coaches be graded. Ghana has graded up to 2000 (coaches) but Nigeria has not graded up to 300.
“A player is as good as his coach, if you want to raise the standard of education in any country your first target is to produce good quality teachers. If you want to improve standard sports you must have the technician trained and groomed in the right way,” he said.
Onigbinde said a non-existing technical department at the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, is a major setback in Nigerian football.
He also said the children should be developed not summoned only when there is a competition.
“Some years ago when Sani Lulu was the president of NFF, he said they want to go into grassroots development and would organize an Under 13 competition. I laughed.
“You invite U13 from Modakeke to Abuja without anyone teaching them how to play football. All I am saying is that you have to develop them before organizing a competition,” Onigbinde said.