Former Super Eagles Chief Coach, Adegboye Onigbinde, has alleged that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) hires foreign coaches, instead of local trainers, because agents and some administrators make more money from the expatriates.
Onigbinde, who coached the senior national team on two separate occasions in 1984 and 2002, told The Guardian, at the weekend, that Nigerian football is on a free fall because some of those administering the sport put their personal interest above national aspirations.
He believes the country still has the potential to be among the world’s best, adding, however, that to get there, the system must be cleansed and a developmental road map developed to cater for the recruitment and training of coaches, process of identifying and developing players, as well as a system that ensures that only the best players are invited to the national team.
According to Onigbinde, if agents are eliminated in the process of hiring coaches and kick back is discouraged, it would pave way for the country to hire coaches of high standard for the Super Eagles.
“When a foreign manager is hired, the NFF pays him more than what they pay to his local counterparts. That is why agents and football administrators prefer going for foreign coaches because they will get more kick back from the coach’s big salary. They can’t get such when a home-based coach is hired.
“That is one of the problems of Nigerian football. The other problem is lack of a developmental programme that focuses on local coaches’ certification on the current norms and approach to the game.
“There are so many coaches in Nigeria that are not good enough to handle national teams because of their poor knowledge of the game.
“I have been clamouring for a well tailored football developmental programme to guide Nigerian football. A situation where agents and administrators also get kick back from players to be in the national team does not help our football growth.
“I am 85 years old now and I don’t think I need any job from NFF… all I do is to keep speaking based on my vast experience in the game,” he said.
He disclosed that he tried to offer some advise to the NFF when the Super Eagles lost to Guinea Bissau at Abuja, but got no reply from them.
He revealed that he was able to win a silver medal at the Cote d’Ivoire 1984 African Cup of Nations with home-based players because Nigeria, then, had a good grassroots programme that produced quality stars.
“If things were done well now, overseas-based players will be fighting to get into the national team. But because we are lazy and cannot produce players from our league, we run to Europe to beg all manner of players to play for the Eagles,” he said.