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Why Indigenous Nigerian Coaches Cannot Handle The Super Eagles
The call for local coaches to manage Nigeria’s senior national team popularly known as the Super Eagles has been going on for as long as I can remember. The topic of national pride is always cited as one of the main reasons for continuing its agitation.
At one point, I was almost drawn to this school of thought, perhaps in sympathy with local coaches who have paid their dues in terms of football achievements.
I was almost overwhelmed by our great achievements in the cadet categories of the World Cup, especially in the under-17 category. Nigeria has won the trophy 3 times since the inaugural edition in China in 1985, when a local coach named Christian Chukwu, himself a former captain of the senior national team, a group of young boys unknown to the Asian nation of China entered the Guinness Book of Records. as the first country to win this championship, then sponsored by Kodak.
Before they left the shores of Nigeria, no one gave them the slightest chance of success. When they finally returned home with the prize, much euphoria greeted their success. And as it was said above, this feat was repeated twice after the first edition, unfortunately in one continent of Asia. First, it was China in 1985, then Japan in 1993, and the last in Korea in 2007.
On these three occasions, our local coaches were at the helm, firstly Chairman Christian Chukwu, then Fanny Ammun and most recently the late Yomi Tella who passed away a few weeks after returning from a glorious tour in Korea.
In 1996, another exploit in the field of football was achieved by Nigeria in the remote Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America. There, a Nigerian side led by Dutchman Bonfre-Joe stunned the world by winning the Olympic gold medal, beating the superpowers of Brazil ever since they went on record as the world’s greatest footballing nation and winning it all. In football, at all levels of play, it is necessary to win in the Olympics (I think they are gendered). Ironically, they were beaten in the semi-finals by Nigeria in an epic game that the bookies had already tipped for the Brazilians. The incident that led to Brazil’s elimination from the soccer tournament at the Atlanta Olympics is a topic for another day.
But the point is that Nigeria won this football gold under the tutelage of a foreign coach and it is on record that Nigeria has won the Africa Cup of Nations twice, the first time was in 1980 under the management of a Brazilian known as Otto Gloria. the second time was in Tunisia in 1994 under a Dutchman named Clement Westerhof, it was this man who qualified Nigeria for the first ever Senior World Cup popularly known as USA 94. won the Africa Cup of Nations in style earlier in the year, sending a signal to the world that Nigeria is ready to take its rightful place on the world football stage.
Why are foreigners more successful than local coaches at a higher level?
I would like to present the reasons in two ways, firstly administrative errors in the Nigeria Football Association. Most of the people who are involved in the daily playing of football in Nigeria do not know anything about the game and its challenges. The Nigerian Football Association is therefore politicized and used mainly as a tool of political satisfaction for electoral support. Foreign coaches are successful because they are hired under a well-written and sealed contract, offering mouth-watering contracts that help motivate them to put in their best work.
It’s a different ball game when it comes to local coaches. They are not given a specific contract, and when that even happens, too much interference from the powers that be in the ministry of sports and the football governing house makes it difficult to recruit local coaches. The issue of ensuring work safety is another determining factor. Coaches are hired and fired at will, most of them are owed two months of salary and never speak about the matter, otherwise it is seen as sabotage and insubordination because these coaches are treated as employees of the ministry. they do
The issue of player respect is another kettle of fish when it comes to coaching the senior national team. Come to think of it, some of these professional players earn up to eighty thousand British pounds a week in their various European clubs, which translates to our national currency, millions of Naira, which can pay two years salary of local coaches. Now, psychologically, the student lives here more comfortably than the teacher, has achieved more than the so-called teacher, and therefore it is difficult to submit himself under the guidance of a person who has not played professional football in his whole life.
Foreign coaches are more respected by players and administrators and this tends to give them an edge over their local counterparts.
As long as local coaches are treated with more respect than foreign coaches in terms of salary and a free hand to operate without undue interference, there is a chance for a local coach to succeed with the national football team. a dream for the present and the near future.
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