Nigerian Football Association

By: Emeka Esogbue

The above caption appeared in complete Sports, Nigeria's Sports Daily vol. 13, no. 035, published on Friday, February 22, 2003. This was a submission made by one John Mastoroudes said to be a former football Administrator in an interview. It is germane to mention here that John Mastoroudes is nont a Nigerian. In this interview John described himself as very passionate about Nigerian Football with contributions to enhance same which he said documents could attest to.

He expressed disappointment at Nigeria's performance at the just concluded 26th African Cup of Nations in Ghana but said he was not surprised because prior to the competition nothing made him feel confident that the Super Eagles would triumph.

According to him, Berti vogts did not spend long enough for him to build a wining team but the manner in which he approached all the four games in Ghana did not suggest hw would do much better even with time. "Besides, his past records always made him feel that his choice was not the best for Nigeria. He stated that where Vogts got it all wrong was being excessively defensive in his team selection, formation and substitution which robbed the Eagles of self-expression. The Nigerian players love attacking football.

As an experienced coach, it is not unlikely that Vogts would have learned some lessons at Ghana 2008 which will be useful for him if he was allowed to continue as the coach of the Super Eagles but in view of all that transpired between him and the Nigerian Football Association since the Eagles were eliminated at the Nations cup. "I think the best solution for both parties is to part ways as they did"

On the way forward, he says "If Nigeria is genuinely desirous to change the fortunes of her football for the better; the place to start making corrections is in the administration of the game. For too long, Nigerian football has been managed by mediocre and it is the cumulative effects of their bad management and lack of vision that is now manifesting in the national team. The major problem with the FA is procedure for the appointment of its members which debars knowledgeable and well meaning Nigerians from getting into management positions, while clearing way for lobbyists with the right connections"

Perhaps, only a few Nigerians understand the problem of Nigerian football better than John Mastoroudes even though he is a non-Nigerian. NFA is really the problem of the Nation's football. With Vogts contract shrouded in mystery, constant employment and sacking of coaches, interference in the coaching duties of coaches, scores to settle with Nigerian Football League amongst others, this is just the beginning of myriads of problems for the Nigerian football and until these are rectified solution may not be on the way.

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