7th October, 2010
Oluwaseyi Abidemi is the former Coach of Larry F.C. Club of Agege. He is now with MosanÂ Okunola Local Council Development Area Football Team. He spoke with SUNDAY AKINTOYE aboutÂ the effect of FIFA ban on Nigerian grassroots football.
Why did you leave Larry F.C?
I have spent close to ten years with Larry Football Club. I thank God that I have a lotÂ of things to show for the years I spent with the club. Now I need a new challenge.
We learnt thatÂ you fought the owner of the club, Olanrewaju Sanyaolu before you left,Â your reaction to this?
(Laughs) Who gave you this wrong information.Sanyaolu is my boss and I will ever beÂ grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to serve the club for ten years. To put theÂ record straight, I left the club because I need to move on. Now, I am with Mosan OkunolaÂ Local Council Development Area (LCDA).The council is playing in the ongoing Lagos JuniorÂ League.
How is the performance of Mosan Okunola LCDA in the Junior League?
The councilâ€™s team are doing well in the competition. We defeated Agbado Oke-Odo 1-0 inÂ our opening game and lost 1-2 to Ori-Ade LCDA in our second game. Our next match againstÂ Iba LCDA will hold this Saturday at the FIFA Legacy Astro turf football pitch at theÂ National Stadium, Surulere.
What are your expectations in the next match?
My expectation is to win our next game because we are aiming to top our group at the endÂ of the day so that we can play in Division One next season.
FIFA has banned Nigeria from taking part inÂ international competitions indefinitely,Â donâ€™tÂ you this will have adverse effect on grassroots football?
There is no doubt football at the grassroots will suffer because we are not going to takeÂ part in any aged grade competition organised by either FIFA or CAF. Activities at theÂ grassroots will defintely be at its lowest ebb. Coaches will be discouraged fromÂ discoveringÂ talents. I must confess everything will standstill. I am not really happyÂ about the situation.
Is it not the time for football administrators to look inward and develop our localÂ football?
The effort of grassroots coaches will be in vain if we fail to play in internationalÂ competitions. It will be hard toÂ assess our young players when they donâ€™t play againstÂ another country.Â It is going to affect our young players who are hungry for success.
Would you quit yourÂ coaching job now since FIFA has banned us?
I cannot quit becauseÂ this is my chosen career. I pray thatÂ officials of NigeriaÂ Football Federation, NFF should ensure that they put their house in order before it isÂ too late.