Replace Moses, Mikel in Eagles, Adamu tells Rohr

Replace Moses, Mikel in Eagles, Adamu tells Rohr

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Dr Amos Adamu is a father figure as far as sports and football, in particular, are concerned in Nigeria and the world at large. In spite of the controversies that surround his career, he is a master of the game. A perfectionist and professional per excellence, he is ‘Mr Fix It’.
The former executive member of world football governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA, spoke with The Point on the problems that have been hampering the growth of sports in Nigeria, the reforms in FIFA and weaknesses of Nigerian football.
He also talked about Super Eagles’ players and how Nigeria ould qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The former Confederation of African Football, CAF, executive and sole administrator of Nigerian football urged the new Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, to begin to look for replacements for Chelsea FC midfielder, John Mikel Obi and his teammate, Victor Moses in the national team, to aid the nation’s journey to participation in the global stage in 2018.
According to the former chief organiser of the 2003 All Africa Games, COJA, the two players have limited time to play active football professionally.
He said, “I respect Mikel and Moses. They have paid their dues in the national team. Under the late coach, Stephen Keshi, they won the Nations Cup in South Africa and they also qualified the team to play at the last FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Before then, Mikel had represented Nigeria at the FIFA Under-20 Youth Championship in Netherlands as finalist against Messi’s Argentina.
“Since 2005 to this present time, Mikel is no longer a kid. He has grown to adult and he is already wearing out. Chelsea cannot even toy with him, because he has won many major laurels with the club in Europe. He has UEFA Champions League medal and Europa gold medal to his credit with Moses.
“The two are war veterans and they need to rest. Mind you, they can still play good football, but they can never run fast like teenagers. Their strength can never be compared to the youthful lad, Kelechi Iheanacho, and so, they should be warming up to play at a lesser league, just to make more money for themselves. We need vibrant and energetic players in the national team. We need promising players from the youth teams.”untitled
The former Director of Sports Development is also not excited about the way the Amaju Pinnick-led Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, has been running football in the country saying that with the way things are going, there would not be improvement in the country’s football. He added, “It is shameful that the Super Eagles missed the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, twice in 2015 and 2017, the Flying Eagles lost out of the Under-20 AFCON in Zambia next year to their Sudanese counterparts while Nigeria cannot beat Republic of Niger home and away in the Under-17 competition as defending champion, even though we are not using the right players. “Nigeria’s senior team struggled to beat Tanzania 1-0 in Uyo and we are happy. Can you just imagine the calibre of people running our football? The local league is in shambles. Our clubs can no longer go far in CAF competitions. It is regrettable. Our league is poorly run by people who thought they know everything. Our clubs suffer all the time. We have poor pitches, and the players’ welfare is equally poor. There is crisis everywhere. The Nigerian league is enmeshed in series of court cases, so tell me how private investor would come in to support the league. We need to wake up. The giant of Africa is fast asleep.”
Still talking about the ugly experience of the national Under-23 team to the last Olympic Games in Rio, Adamu said he was not impressed with the way coach Samson Siasia and his boys were treated.
“They crucified Siasia for taking good initiative. The players and officials fought their way out of the country to train in Atlanta, USA, but instead of supporting them, they raised unnecessary dust against them until the team started winning, that was when everybody now came out to associate with them. It looks somehow,” he said.
He, however, lauded the team for winning a bronze medal in Rio, even as he charged the Federal Government to do more on athletes’ welfare and encourage them to excel in global events
. Attributing the Olympic Games’ poor show to lack of planning and sports being in the hands of nonprofessional administrators, Adamu said, “Our sports are suffering because we don’t know what to do. We lack ideas. No training. No development. No focus and it is not run by professionals.”
On the ongoing reforms in FIFA, Adamu pretended not to know much about happenings in FIFA since he was disgraced out of office on bribery allegation scandal.
“I don’t know o. I even heard that the Director of Competition, Mustapha Fahmy, is considering quitting FIFA and Director of Communications, Walter De Gregorio, had resigned.
In fact I don’t know what they are up to,” he said. FIFA had appointed accounting giant, Price Waterhouse Coopers, PwC, to conduct its audits, after KPMG ended their decade-long association with the scandal-hit world football governing body in June.
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, described the move as “an example of how the organisation is restoring its financial control and management mechanisms to the fullest.”
FIFA has been battling to redeem its image ever since a raid on a Zurich hotel last year to arrest seven FIFA officials at the centre of a US investigation.
US prosecutors have started to judge those indicted, while the Swiss justice system is investigating the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 edition to Qatar.
Recently FIFA came to Nigeria with 17 other football associations, FAs, across the continent on the invitation of NFF President, Pinnick, but the former FIFA bigwig, Adamu, was not carried along, as he was outside the country during the visit.
Adamu said he did not know why FIFA President and the Secretary- General came to Nigeria, saying, “In fact I am not aware. I did not know much about the visit.”
But it was speculated that he came to prepare ground for Pinnick’s quest for FIFA executive slot. Adamu laughed at such insinuation, saying that no “single person is bigger than the country and the continent.”
When asked if he would campaign for Pinnick in his quest to become an executive of FIFA, Adamu quipped, “Is it just like that?”
He said Pinnick has not spent up to four years in the office and he is eyeing FIFA position, adding that he should go and learn from former NFF boss, Aminu Maigari and others how easier it is to join FIFA.

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