FORMER FIFA and CAF executive member, Dr Amos Adamu, has emphasised the need for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), to ease ageing players out of the Super Eagles.
Adamu told ‘ON THE SPOT’ against the backdrop of the state of Nigerian football that the desired results could only be achieved with relatively young players.
“Our first problem is coaching, we don’t have a stable coach, we must get the coaching crew right. Secondly, we depend on the names of players, not the performance of the players. Most of our players [in the Super Eagles] are over 30 years old. Now, if a 30-year-old player finds a player who is 19, 20 or 21 in the opposing side run with the ball, can a 30-year-old man chase such opponent? No.
“When we used players and they have peaked, we should not allow them to destroy us again. We should now go for the players who are young to be in the team, not a player who is 35 years old and claim to be 19. When we continue to depend on any player who is above 30 years old, we might get this kind of results we are now getting. I have advised the NFF to look for younger players for the Super Eagles and not a player who is 35 years old and claims he is 17-year-old.
“Again, we must have the birth profile data of our players because it is now very common in Nigeria where a 35-year-old player who looks smallish will claim to be under 17. When it comes to performance, it will show that he is not in that age category,” Adamu, a former sole administrator of the nation’s soccer ruling body said.
He also welcomed the declaration of state of emergency in Nigerian sports by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung.
“If the government has declared state of emergency in Nigerian sports, that means it wants an immediate action to put things right where it is supposed to be. As we have in Nigerian sports today, we need to declare a state of emergency.”