From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Pillar of Sports in Africa, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has said it is easier to win the World Cup than to clinch the African Champions League title, stressing that if given the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to manage, he would bring the World Cup to Nigeria in three years.
The sports enthusiast, who made the disclosure yesterday during an interview in his office in Abuja, emphasised: “It is an easy job, it is not difficult, we have the human and capital resources. World Cup is the easiest thing to win, the African Champions League Cup is harder.”
The former Abia State governor, who gave Enyimba International a branded identity, explained that the problem with Nigerians is that they do not allow the people who are knowledgeable about something to do it.
Dr. Kalu further noted that the problem with the Nigerian coaches and managers was that they are lazy and do not do their homework very well, stressing: “Football is not about being in the office, you must be on the field and have an indepth knowledge of the game.”
Reacting on Super Eagles 2-0 defeat by the Bafana Bafana of South Africa last Saturday, Dr. Kalu who watched the match via satellite in the United States, said he told his family and friends that the team will not go far.
“After 10 minutes, I told them I would be surprised if they win. The South Africans were very strong in all the departments of the game, from the defence to attack. So, they deserve to win even by 4-0,” he quipped.
He pointed out that most coaches lose focus during the 90 minutes of play because what is paramount in their minds then is not to lose the job, adding that they do not need to bring professionals from Arsenal or Manchester City to win matches.
“Enyimba players were almost 70 per cent in the national team at a time. They were not from Arsenal or Chelsea,” the business mogul revealed.
He further disclosed that his pet team Enyimba was able to dominate both domestic and continental scene because there was no tribalism or favouritism in the team selections then.
“When Enyimba is playing you see the face of Nigeria and not the face of Enyimba of Aba because at times we have 4 Mohammeds, four Kayodes and two Okafors on the line up and sometimes five Okafors depending on the fitness level of the players.
“No quota system is involved, no tribalism. Football is hard work, people use football to make money. Enyimba is the first team to play a player Emeka Nwana alia Ayalla, the sum of N1 million sign on fee in my days as the governor of Abia State and we reaped it later. Football is about investment and good management,” he noted.
He concluded that he would have taken part in the National Sports Federations elections held this week if he was not far away in the United States.
“As former Judo Federation Chairman, I took a club side to where they have not been before winning in Africa and World Championships and at the Olympics. You know everything I touch goes well,” he concluded