SENATE CHARGES NFF TO RE-STRATEGIZE
The Sports and Social Development Committee of the Senate yesterday charged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to re-strategize, focus more on home-based players and re-orientate players who represent Nigeria on the need for patriotic fervour and total commitment.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Adamu Gumba, speaking during a meeting with the leadership of NFF at the National Assembly and his members, absolved the NFF of blame over recent set-backs by the national teams, saying coaches who lack fresh ideas and players who lack patriotism have failed the nation.
Gumba said: 'We are aware that the NFF did its very best to provide support and other things for the Under-23 team that campaigned for Olympic Games ticket in Morocco, as well as the Super Eagles and the Super Falcons that also faltered. 'The blame should go to the players and the coaches for not measuring up to expectation'.
Senator Alkali Jajere, a member of the committee, lamented the over-reliance on foreign-based footballers, saying the NFF must now focus on the home-based players and work hard on grassroots development programmes. 'Now, we are down, but there is no need apportioning blame. The NFF has seen its own shortcomings and must be ready to put its house in order, because football is the principal thing that binds us together as Nigerians. Our people cannot continue to suffer heartaches now and again.
'The foreign-based players show disdain to representing the nation. They are more concerned with keeping away from injuries to keep their places in their European clubs than work hard for Nigeria on the field'. Another member, Senator Abdul Ningi, expressed disgust at the lackadaisical attitude of players who represent Nigeria in Morocco. 'They did not play like Nigerians; they lacked the Nigerian fighting spirit that we all know'. Other members urged the NFF to go back to the grassroots.
Gumba added: 'We have a pool of talented players; what should done is just to discover them and harness their potentialities for the interest of the nation.