MUCH ADO ABOUT SUPER EAGLES CAPTAIN
SIR: I read the piece with the above caption in The Guardian, December 16, 2010 and was forced to do this rejoinder. In the piece you thought great progress will be made in our football without Joseph Yobo as captain.
Lately, many Nigerians have been too critical of our athletes without bothering to address the fundamental issues that have plagued our football and sports in general.
I think the bane of our sports development is not the dedication of our sportsmen, but a total collapse of the process generating athletes. A few years ago, when you watched the UEFA champions league, not a few Nigerians were on display. Ikpeba, Kanu, Okocha, Okechukwu, Amuneke, Martins, Utaka to mention a few. At the moment, I guess the list is about four players who don't make the headlines after the match.
It was a team of such quality that Kanu led to Atlanta. You are quick to forget that Yobo was only an assistant to Kanu. So where did the magic of Atlanta go? Keshi was never very active throughout Tunisia 94. A trip down memory lane, you would discover that it was Eguavoen that wore the band in that final. Ugbade led a team that never gave much thereafter and some questions have been raised about the age factor in their success.
The crux of the matter with our football is discovering and nurturing talents not who is captain.