20th November, 2014
Contrary to the expectation of soccer loving Nigerians, an Executive Committee meeting of the Board of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, which met in Uyo, Akwa Ibom yesterday, failed to address the issue of Chief Coach Stephen Keshi’s future in the Super Eagles.
What the NFF did at the end of the meeting, which was held at Hotel & Suites, Uyo, was to issued a communique apologising to Nigerians over the failure of the Eagles to qualify for the 30th Africa Cup of Nations finals in Equatorial Guinea. The Committee did not deliberate on the future of the coach under whose watch the team failed to qualify for the AFCON 2015 as the defending champions.
The NFF board resolved collectively to accept full responsibility for the mishap and called for patience and understanding of Nigerians while it pursued the cause of building a sustainable football culture for the country, and also work hard at engineering a resurgence of the national teams through well –thought programmes and processes.
The Committee, however, ordered the camping of the Golden Eaglets ahead of the 11th African U-17 Championship taking place in Niger Republic from 15 February – 1 March, 2015. The camp opens in Abuja on 14 December. Similarly, the U-20 Flying Eagles, will on 24 November resume camping for a screening exercise, ahead of the 19th African Youth Championship taking place in Senegal, 8 – 22 March, 2015.
A Technical Study Group, which will be focused on getting talented Nigerian players into the developmental leagues in Europe for the purpose of creating a pool of future Super Eagles’ players, and work hard at getting more Nigeria –born footballers in Europe to commit to representing fatherland, was constituted. Chairman of the Group is Augustine ‘Jay –Jay’ Okocha, while members are Benedict Akwuegbu, Celestine Babayaro, Michael Obiku, Darlington Omodiagbe, Finidi George, Taribo West, Tijani Babangida, Kashimawo Laloko, Henry Nwosu, Peter Rufai, Dominic Iorfa, Nwankwo Kanu, Dahiru Sadi, Gbenga Ogunbote, Mutiu Adepoju, Florence Omagbemi, Mercy Akide-Udoh, Ann Chiejine, Eucharia Uche, Salisu Yusuf, Alloy Agu and Benedict Iroha.
In a bold move to improve the quality of coaching, match –reading and backroom analysis in the country, and ultimately to improve the fortunes of the various national teams, Executive Committee adopted a proposal by its President, Amaju Pinnick, to sponsor 17 persons on a two –week, intensive training programme in the United Kingdom. The persons are: Sam John Obuh, Isa Ladan Bosso, Shaibu Amodu, Salisu Yusuf, Paul Aigbogun, Kelechi Emeteole, David Ngodigha, Edema Fuludu, Yisa Sofoluwe, Nwankwo Kanu, Augustine ‘Jay –Jay’ Okocha, Garba Lawal, Dahiru Sadi, Siji Lagunju, Ann Chiejine, Florence Omagbemi and Garba Musa.