A cross-section of football fans and sports journalists alike have condemned the unilateral decision of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, President, Amaju Pinnick to eject striker Emem Eduok from the Super Eagles camp concerning his transfer saga.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES in Abuja on Wednesday, former Sports Writers Association of Nigeria SWAN Chairman, Victor Iroele, said it was not wise of Mr. Pinnick to ac the way he did.
“It is not a wise decision, it is a wrong decision, it’s very hasty and very rash because I don’t see why a player in a crisis point should be removed from the national team. Come to think of it, whatever it is we should find out where he erred and know where the Norwegian club or Sarsborg is at fault. Even if we have to condemn him we should not do it this way, what signal are we sending to other players that are in camp.
“Any little mistake we use and dump them, it will not augur well for our football when you have the NFF President begin to meddle into a national team you could have asked the coach or the technical committee to handle the matter and not for you to just exercise your power. He has not been found guilty yet and action like this is not for the good of our football,” Mr. Pinnick said.
Also, the current National Secretary-General of the sports writer Association of Nigeria, Andrew Abah, said the NFF goofed for throwing the player out of camp. Abah asked that Eduok be allowed to return to the national team.
“It is a wrong signal if I may say, the President of the NFF Amaju Pinnick goofed, it is not encouraging. Whatever he has done, he is a player, he went to look for greener pasture, the best thing is that he would have called him and talk to him as a father because sending him out. You have already demoralised him, what future does he have if his country cannot come to his aid, it is a wrong signal and I think the NFF President should think about it and return the young man to camp”.
Another Sports Journalist, Arafat Aliu, condemned the expulsion saying he found no merit in sending Eduok away from camp.
“First of all it is belittling of the NFF President to descend so low to ask a player to leave camp. Even if he wanted that, he should have done it in other means”.
For sports journalist, Remi Sulola, said the team is not camping for a major tournament but a friendly so it should not be a big deal.
“Well I think his expulsion from the camp is not fair, it’s unfair to the player. It clearly indicates that at this point, the NFF that made the decision doesn’t really know what football is all about.
She said Mr. Pinnick should have helped Eduok out of his dilemma and cited a similar case with Mikel Obi which was resolved without necessarily hurting Mikel’s career.
A soccer Aficionado, Chigozie Adade, also said it was not a good step adding that he is not happy with the NFF’s unwarranted high-handedness.
“This is not fair, is that how the NFF will resolve issues concerning a player? What has his stay at the national team have to do with the club that the player signed for? It is not fair and I am not happy, the NFF should do something and return him to the team. He is a goal scorer and what else would you want?” he asked.
Mr. Pinnick on Tuesday ordered the removal of Eduok from the camp in Abuja for his transfer sage which saw him sign for two football clubs at the same time.