Nigeria has no football team now – Christian Chukwu


Ex-Super Eagles captain and legend, Christian Chukwu, on Sunday, decried the state of Nigeria’s national football team, Super Eagles, saying that the nation doesn’t “have a national team now,” while the home-based players lack the opportunities to grow.

He opined that the team coach, Jose Peseiro, should be based in the country, and that would enable him to discover local talents and train them to become better players, rather than coming from abroad to train the players for a match and then travelling back.

Chukwu expressed his concerns as a guest on the Channels Television programme, ‘Channels Sports Sunday.’

The former team captain said, “Our coach should come and stay with us in Nigeria. We have a lot of talents in Nigeria, in our local league and when you don’t camp and train them and forget about this we have a match, we come on Thursday, they train on Friday, they play on Saturday and they disperse again. We don’t have a team.

“Let’s come back home, all those playing overseas are good players. They have the opportunities, we have those players back home who are equally good but they don’t have that opportunity to go abroad and play and if you come here and discover them, let you be their manager and then expose them to the Europe people. We have players who are very good, better than the foreign-based players but they don’t have the opportunity.”

Chukwu, who also coached the Super Eagles from 2003 to 2006 said, “You have to come home and discover them and train them. I am not saying they should not be mixed with the foreign-based. Invite the foreign-based but give the home-based opportunity. They are the ones you can use to get anything you want to get.

“As far as I am concerned we don’t have a national team now because even our coaches stay abroad. He comes with the players to come and play and travel again. He should come and reside here, let us work together. We are ready to help him with whatever he wants to achieve.”

Despite guiding Nigeria to qualification for the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, the Portuguese has been in the headlines, owing to the poor form of the Super Eagles in recent matches.

In November, Peseiro told the Nigeria Football Federation Technical Committee not to teach him his job but rather pay him and his team their outstanding allowances.

Peseiro allegedly said this while reacting to the committee Chairman, Shariff Ahlan’s comment in the wake of his future as the Eagles coach, stating that the Eagles’ job is bigger than the Portuguese.