Urgent Call For Recruitment And Reform In Nigerian Football

Posted on April 17, 2024
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Dear Manu Garba and the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF),
I am writing to express my deep concerns about the current state of Nigerian football, particularly the performance of our national teams. As an avid supporter and passionate advocate for Nigerian football, I believe it is important to address certain issues that have hindered our progress and success in recent years.
Firstly, I urge you, Manu Garba, to consider exploring street football players from various regions in Nigeria. Talent can be found in unexpected places, such as Ribadu Military Cantorment in Kaduna, Ikorodu in Lagos, and the Dala Orthopedic Football Field in Kano State. Relying solely on players from club sides may not be sufficient, as the performance of the Nigeria Golden Eaglets and the under-20 team in the last decade has been disappointing.
Additionally, I would like to draw your attention to the poor public relations exhibited by Ladan Boso, which does not reflect well on the Nigerian Football Federation. It is essential to maintain a positive image and foster good relationships with the public, media, and stakeholders.
Looking ahead to the 2026 Mundial in the USA, it is disheartening to acknowledge that the current Super Eagles team may not be World Cup material. We cannot afford to participate in the tournament only to play the group stage matches and return home immediately. Nigeria deserves a national team that can compete at the highest level and make a lasting impression on the global stage.
I have closely observed the efforts of the USA football team in their preparation for the 2026 World Cup. They have drawn players not only from their national under-20 team but also from street football, showcasing skillful dribbling, attacking prowess, and accurate shooting. These players undergo comprehensive training, including classroom lectures, gymnasium sessions, and track and field events. It is evident that a meticulous approach to player selection and development can yield positive results.
Furthermore, the USA 2026 World Cup team boasts several players of Nigerian descent, as well as professionals in their coaching staff. This demonstrates the potential talent that can be harnessed from Nigerian communities around the world. We must urgently explore and identify players of Nigerian descent in Europe, South America, North America, Australia, and other African regions with Nigerian roots.
I would like to emphasize that player selection should be based on merit and potential rather than favoritism or ethnicity. It is essential to assemble a new World Cup team that represents the best available talents. The mockery of ethnicity in player selection not only undermines the credibility of the Nigerian national team but also disappoints the passionate supporters and advocates of Nigerian football.
To move forward and revitalize Nigerian football, I implore you to take immediate action. Begin the process of recruiting new players, exploring talent in unconventional places, and implementing reforms within the Nigerian Football Federation. By doing so, we can reclaim our position as a football powerhouse in Africa and on the global stage.
I firmly believe that with the collective efforts of the coaching staff, NFF, players, fans, and stakeholders, we can restore Nigerian football to its former glory. Let us work together to build a national team that Nigerians can be proud of, one that competes with skill, determination, and a true representation of our rich football heritage.
Thank you for your attention to these urgent matters. I eagerly await positive changes and advancements in Nigerian football.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
©Emmanuel Peter Adayehi PhD

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