Gusau-Led New NFF Board Should Develop Nigerian Leagues –Ilaboya
Executive Director, Edo State Sports Development Commission, Mr. Frank Ilaboya, has urged the new Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Board led by Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau to consider seriously the policy of giving the Nigerian leagues serious attention and making them better, Completesports.com reports.
Ilaboya, a former Chairman of Edo State Football Association while speaking with Completesports.com in Benin, Edo State recently described home leagues as a mill that will produce reliable players for national teams.
“NFF should look at the Nigerian leagues, I think we’re losing. Let us make our home leagues very very robust because it’s like a mill, a transition mill. Right now if you look at Super Eagles you can’t get one person that will be in that team,” Ilaboya told Completesports.com during an exclusive interview in Benin City.
“The NFF President and Board should make the home league, very robust, they should be well complemented. It must be well respected, players must be paid well, and they must be well advertised.
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“Even us, the sports writers, have to look at that. Putting all our attention on the English Premier League will not help us. Let us create a consciousness in us to celebrate our players.”
The former Chairman of SWAN Lagos Chapter also appealed to the national coaches to look inwards.
“I also want to appeal to the national coaches to do more, like Jose Peseiro is doing now, trying to look at our local league,” Ilaboya added.
“When Westerhof was here, that was the catch. The man went around, saw our players, and saw that they needed to be exposed. He exposed the likes of Finidi, the likes of Amokachi, Kanu, and now look at them today.
“Peseiro has started it, let us have more of it. Let them see our pain, let them hear what the people are saying, not that you’ll play one friendly match and that’s it. I think the current administration should ensure that any coach hired should e able to do it.
“Secondly, they should come up with a policy where our national teams play the same pattern. The coaches should be told this is the pattern for Nigeria, at U-17, U-20, and U-23. At the Super Eagles, they should play the same pattern so that transition would be easy. It has to be a deliberate policy.
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“Look at the Cameronians for instance, you see their players are bulky, they’re stocky. It’s a deliberate policy. So what is our policy on football? That is the question the incoming board should answer”,
“They should sit down and come out with a policy, tell Nigerians this is the policy we want to pursue and this is how we want to pursue it. And Nigerians should see that the policies indeed are being pursued.
“England has not won the World Cup since 1966, but people appreciate their football, people talk about EPL, EPL is not an English team, so why can’t ours be that vibrant that’s what I am saying.”
From Chigozie Chukwuleta in Benin
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