The current leaders of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, have been accused of sabotaging the efforts of the technical crew of the Super Eagles leading to the team’s failure to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations billed for Equatorial Guinea.
Iyke Igbokwe, an ex-committee member of the NFF, made this allegation while speaking to PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday.
He alleged that the NFF board sabotaged the efforts of Coach Stephen Keshi in the final leg of the 2015 AFCON qualifying series against South Africa. He claimed the NFF deliberately sabotaged the Big Boss so as to justify their earlier decision to sack him.
“The NFF board saddled to oversee the game are to blame for this failure because we all know there is no love lost between Keshi and the board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF),” Mr. Igbokwe, who contested for a seat on the NFF board and lost, said.
“The NFF board sacked Keshi, but the presidency in its wisdom reinstated the coach because he started the qualifiers and with two matches to go, he should finish it.
“His replacement would have had a ready-made excuse had he failed to qualify,” he added.
Part of the way the coach’s efforts were sabotaged, according to Mr. Igbokwe, was the non-payment of adequate remuneration to players.
“The team’s morale was low. Their daily allowances in Congo were not paid, but instead the NFF took 100 journeymen on a chartered plane to Congo for sightseeing paid for by tax payers.
“The animosity between employer and employee played out in full glare in Uyo; no official went to see the players before the match to psyche them up.
“This is certainly not a proper way to run football in Nigeria,” he said.
Nigeria, the current African champions, failed to qualify for the 2015 AFCON after playing a 2-2 draw in Uyo last Wednesday against South Africa. The Eagles finished third in Group A of the qualifying series behind South Africa and Congo both of who will compete in next year’s tournament.