Former Super Eagles captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, has explained that Nigerians love football so much that every fan thinks he can do better than the coach.

Okocha, one of the greatest players from the African continent, had 73 appearances for Nigeria, and scored 14 goals between 1993 and 2006. He made three FIFA World Cup appearances.

“The problem we have in Nigeria is that everybody is a coach and it is not suppose to be so,” the mercurial midfielder told The Guardian at the Children’s Day celebration organised by Africa’s video streaming service, Showmax, in collaboration with Upbeat Lagos.

He told The Guardian that Nigerians should change their attitude of always criticising coaches, who are saddled with the responsibility of overseeing national teams at international competitions.

“It is always easy to criticise when you are outside,” he said. “But if you are given the responsibility, you can’t achieve anything. Nigerians need to change such mentality.”

Okocha’s appearance at the Upbeat Recreation Centre, Lekki Phase 1, was a delight for the children, who came from different parts of the city to celebrate the 2023 Children’s Day, courtesy of Showmax.

For the children, their parents and football enthusiasts at Lekki, the juvenile event paved way for them to meet with the football legend.

Okocha lauded Showmax and Upbeat for hosting the fun party for kids. He especially thanked Showmax for giving a special screening of his childhood, as a young footballer, in an animated series titled ‘Jay Jay: The Chosen One’.

“I am very happy about this innovation by Showmax and Upbeat to celebrate this year’s Children’s Day. This kind of initiative will make both parents and their kids happy.

“It is a privilege to feature in one of Showmax’s projects for kids, it will serve as an encouragement and motivation to them and the next generation about my football journey from childhood to a star,” Okocha stated.

The event witnessed a football competition among schools like Juventus Football Academy, Lagos Tigers, Corona College, Lagos Bright Stars, Victory Football Academy, Avi Cenna International and Lagos Soccer Stars.

The Public Relations Manager of Showmax, Jennifer Ukoh-Osamwonyi, stressed that their aim is to bring excitement to the kids, adding that bringing Okocha to the event to meet with the kid for a real-life experience, was in the spirit to celebrate this year Children’s Day.

“This is great content for kids, and there are great lessons to be learnt about team spirit, hard work, great adventures, and the game of football, which we all enjoyed as Nigerians,” Ukoh-Osamwonyi stated.

Okocha presented medals and the trophy to Juventus Football Academy, who won the competition. Lagos Bright Stars and Avi Cenna International came second and third respectively.

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