NIGERIA'S FOOTBALL NEEDS PROPER DEVELOPMENT – KESHI
The initial decision by our President Jonathan Goodluck to withdraw the national teams from all international competitions was his way of saying 'what the heck is going on with football in this country?' That's why he took the decision .
Obviously, the Nigerian people were touched by the decision and expressed their views that it would not be fair to most of the young generation that will come up in the next five years, as they would miss the Africa Cup of Nations.
Of course, Nigerians love their national teams and not to have Nigeria in any of the major tournaments would be a big blow. Because of this, they pleaded with the President and I believe they sent about 500, 000 messages through email and on his Facebook profile.
The other issue that played a part was the fact that the president of the association and two other officials were impeached and new persons were put in place. The President was happy with this, so let's see what happens from here. Nigeria's problems have to be addressed at the roots if we are to make any inroads in international competitions. We need to start with the leadership of football and set up clear development programmes for the youngsters.
I keep on saying this because this is where we came from. We came from the junior teams, in fact, it was from the high school and from there we were picked to play for the junior national teams. From there, we graduated to the senior national team. It's sad to say this but we do not have that anymore.
We don't play inter-school sports where talents can be spotted and developed at an early stage. The only pool and source where we focus is at the professional leagues and even there, some of the players are over aged. Once they get selected for the national team, they play for a while and in the next three to four years they cannot perform anymore.