Facts have emerged from last Monday’s meeting between the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development(FMYSD) and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that also had a representative from the Presidency in attendance.
The Ministry had earlier queried the NFF over the failure of the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2022 World Cup Finals in Qatar.
The meeting gave the NFF the opportunity to provide some explanation after the Minister spoke on the disappointment over the failure to qualify, insisting that it was regrettable and that Nigerians have a right to be disappointed and demand an overhaul of the Super Eagles.
The Minister maintained it will not stop there as it is now determined to overhaul the football ecosystem.
The meeting took an interim report and review of the failure to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Further serious deliberations took place on a number of practical steps that should be urgently taken to reposition Nigerian football and rescue it from its current state from the grassroots, the leagues, to the national teams.
The current state of the league especially the Premier league featured prominently with the Ministry insisting that the failure of the Super Eagles to qualify was a manifestation of the failure of the league which has failed to serve as feeder for national home-based players to make the national team.
Sources disclosed that the Minister pointedly requested for an immediate status report on the league after which further actions will follow.
The Ministry also revealed that as soon as the reports expected come in, some major decisions will be made.
After several contributions and a few arguments, the Minister issued some directives which include;
1. Search, set up and announce a 3-man technical team of Nigerian coaches to coach the home-based team.
2. Selection and invitation of 30 players from the Nigerian league to camp immediately and that the Ministry will help with getting a conducive camp ground for the team.
3. The NFF must as a matter of urgency come up with an upgraded plan to bring our league up to the standard seen in South Africa, England, Spain etc. The league must be able to produce players good enough to play in the senior national team, the Super Eagles.
4. The NFF should set in motion the plans to hold their elections in September 2022. They should roll out the plans without delay.
5. Immediate commencement of the search for a competent foreign technical adviser who must be subject to evaluation and must have an understanding of the developments around our football and government plans.
The Minister hinted that consultations are ongoing to get the Federal Government to directly pay the wages of the new Technical Adviser while the NFF would handle other logistics.
All these plans are to ensure that the Super Eagles bounce back hungrier, stronger and better so they can restore joy and happiness to the hearts of Nigerians by qualifying for the 2023 AFCON in Cote’d Ivoire in grand style.
The CHAN Eagles, Olympic Eagles, Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets must also be adequately prepared so they can do the nation proud.
The Super Falcons, Falconets and Flamingos should not be left out as they prepare for their different International competitions.
The Minister, sources at the meeting further revealed, said that even though there was a deliberative process and decisions taken, the failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, is an opportunity to begin that difficult process of fixing the source of the problems that have plaqued Nigeria’s football development.
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