The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has blamed the serial poor outings by the various national teams on inadequate and late release of funds.
The football governing body also cited the protracted legal leadership tussle for the soul of the nation’s football and the investigation of officials of the board over ‘false and malicious’ corruption allegations as other reasons for the poor outing of the national teams at various international competitions in recent times.
The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, had issued a query to the NFF demanding explanation for the poor showings by the Super Falcons, CHAN Eagles, Golden Eaglets and Olympic Eagles in recent international matches/tournaments.
In a 15–page letter signed by Pinnick, the NFF detailed issues of funding (inadequacy and late release of same) and the toxic and disruptive environment in which it has had to operate for the past 18 months (with the Federation’s leadership and brand falsely and maliciously dragged from one investigative agency to the other and from one court to the other on same baseless allegations) as core reasons for the poor outings by the various teams.
“It was a good move by the minister to request for the report. As he said, there has to be stock taking and after that, accountability. The NFF is enamoured by the move and we have submitted the requested report.
“For us, there is nothing to hide. We have detailed all the issues and the forces at play, and explained that in so much as these tournaments are important, they are mainly and strategically developmental. Even at that, we approach every match/tournament with the intention of winning, but it is practically and absolutely impossible based on indices, records and scientific laws of probability,” President of NFF, Mr. Amaju Pinnick, said yesterday.
While acknowledging the importance of the qualifying matches/tournaments in which these teams participated and fell short, the federation defended the technical crews of the teams and justified why they are the best for the positions as at the time they were hired by highlighting their track records.
Pinnick also argued that the best performance indicator for any country in international football is the A team, “in this case Super Eagles, which in recent times drew with five–time world champions, Brazil and Ukraine in friendlies, and defeated Benin Republic and Lesotho in 2021 AFCON qualifying matches.
‘These, after finishing third at the first–ever 24–team AFCON in Egypt this year summer. Moreover, a high number of the players in the present Super Eagles squad passed through the various developmental teams, showing that Nigeria is moving in the right direction.”