14th June, 2013
Former Nigeria national team coach, Adegboyega Onigbinde has declared that Super Eagles’ players should not be held culpable if the team fails at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
Nigeria is in Group B of the Confederations Cup alongside Spain, Uruguay and Tahiti but preparations of the West Africans have been rocked by a row over bonuses between the players and officials of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.
Things escalated badly Thursday with the players refusing to travel following Wednesday’s 2013 FIFA World Cup qualifying game against Namibia in Windhoek.
Onigbinde has now voiced his sentiments on the issue explaining that the players cannot exclusively be made to share the blame in the face of failure in Brazil.
“When a team does not do well, we all blame the players and the coaches, whereas the causes of some of these things might be administrative,” Onigbinde told supersport.com Friday in a thinly-veiled attack on the NFF.
Onigbinde, a former member of the NFF’s Technical Committee further stated that he was “sidelined” by the current NFF chiefs “for always standing for the truth”.
“I was sidelined for always standing for the truth. Anyway, the NFF are in charge and they should sort out this issue but like I said earlier, if the team fails in Brazil, people should understand that these failures could be as a result of administrative negligence and not put the blame squarely on the doorstep of the players and coaches,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Eagles are now to leave for Brazil on Saturday, two days after they were originally scheduled to depart Namibia. An elated Team Secretary, Dayo Enebi Achor said late Thursday that what happened was a mild misunderstanding that has since been resolved and the team will now fly out to Brazil on Saturday morning.
The Super Eagles will now have their first official training in Brazil on Sunday, for its game against Tahiti on Monday in the FIFA Confederations Cup.
The game against Tahiti will be played in Belo Horizonte, but the Eagles will have had little time to acclimatise to the conditions. Nigeria will face Tahiti in its opening game at the Confederations Cup on 17 June at the Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte.
Three days later, the Super Eagles will square up against South American champions, Uruguay at the Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador.
The African champions will then round off their preliminary campaign with a potentially stiff test against World and European champions Spain at Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza the on June 23.