It’s sad. Nigerians are still distraught. It’s unbelievable, that arguably the most talented squad on the continent has achieved nothing in five years.
President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick should have resigned by the moment. His almost eight years of heading the NFF has been focused on the Super Eagles at the detriment of football growth.
A country of Nigeria’s massive potential has to do more than depend on a World Cup ticket to sell a football culture.
In eight years, Nigerian football has stayed in the middle, clubs have failed to grow, players have come through the ranks through their various academies. Sustenance of age-grade teams died every year. And at the moment, Nigeria has no male age-grade team because there’s no tournament ahead.
Clubs are not self-sustaining, football brands are suffering because of the lack of local content to sell to buyers who need quality. While local talents had no opportunity to grow, Pinnick was currying attention from foreign academies.
He’s had great success in convincing players that it’s best they represent their ancestors, after all, they won’t get a place in their countries of birth. At the detriment of the growth of local talents, Nigeria has consistently depended on foreign-born players to do the work.
A public imagery of an astute administrator is painted, but the many irregularities seen under Pinnick makes it unbelievable that he’s still the NFF President this morning.
In eight years of Pinnick at the NFF, the Super Eagles, his project missed out on the 2015 and 2017 AFCON. They came third in 2019 and got booted at the second round at the 2021 AFCON. That’s his best record at the NFF in eight years.
No Nigerian team qualified for the Olympics football event because they failed to have adequate preparation.
Female players have been ostracised from the team for speaking their truths. The case of Desire Oparanozie comes to mind. When the attacker complained about the welfare of Super Falcons’ players, she was alleged of disrespecting the men on top and the powers that be, stripped of her captaincy and banished from the team. She only earned a recall recently.
The administrative loopholes, love for the loud, and playing to the gallery that Pinnick has displayed in the past saw him go to the Super Eagles dressing room to take charge of pep talks. His speeches embarrass football and the man he gave a second chance was sacked at the most inappropriate time.
Gernot Rohr sold the dummy of building a team for the future to Nigerians for five years. At the fifth year, he was sacked by his incompetent employers, with a World Cup ticket in sight.
The appointment of Eguavoen was one of Pinnick’s many terrible decisions. While Rohr hardly had anything new to offer the Super Eagles, an off-job Eguavoen who in his best days was average shouldn’t have been the man.
The result is terrible. Nigeria will miss out on the 2022 World Cup but that’s only daybreak. Under the dark nights have been regular works primed towards failure and disappointment.
Under Pinnick, Nigeria hardly had a regular home ground, and players had to adjust to different grounds on different days. They played at Pinnick’s desires and whim, and sometimes found themselves on bad pitches.
With the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare in support, times only got worse for Nigerian football. Pinnick should have resigned by now. He has failed at management. He has failed at his primary assignment of charting a course for Nigerian football.
Nigerian football is crying in his watch. Talents are going bust. Dreams are getting not fulfilled for the lack of opportunities and structures. It’s been eight years of Super Eagles and nothing else seemed important.
The Super Eagles, Pinnick’s adoring project has failed and without much ado, he should walk out the door and hold his failings along.