February 22, 2020

We have to restructure Nigerian football ―Rafiu Ladipo

August 17, 2018
Rafiu Ladipo

The President-General, Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rafiu Ladipo, has said that Nigerian football must be restructured for the game to move forward in the country.

Ladipo while speaking with SportingTribuneOnline made the remarks against the backdrop of the leadership crisis in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

“Our football is not what it used to be since 1994 when Nigeria was ranked fifth on the FIFA rankings.

“For me, what we need in this country is to restructure our football, there must be a total restructuring of Nigerian football. We have not achieved in the last four years, look at the record, this is not what our rating in football should be. We were rated the fifth best team in the world in 1994, where are we now today? Imagine 41st position on the FIFA rankings.

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“We did not play in the Africa Cup of Nations back to back, the current campaign for the 2019 AFCON, we started on a bad note losing 0-2 to Bafana Bafana of South Africa and if care is not taken we may also miss the 2019 AFCON.

“The Golden Eaglets who were the U17 world champions in 2015, we did not even qualify to defend our title in the last tournament. We had one match to go in the U20 competition, we beat Sudan 2-1 in their backyard but when we came back to Lagos, they defeated us 4-3 to stop us from the tournament.

The President-General, Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rafiu Ladipo.

“The Russia 2018 World Cup, we did not go beyond the first round, in 1994, we made it to the second round same in 1998, 2010, and 2014. The Falconets that just crashed from FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France, they won silver medals in 2010 and 2014. So, what happened? We did not get to the semi-final.

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“Chris Giwa or Amaju Pinnick is not the issue. Some of us have toiled day and night for our football to grow, there has been frustration all over the place and we cannot continue like this. Something fundamental is wrong with our football and we have to restructure it.” Ladipo stated.

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