–NFF boss hails duo after Glo/CAF Awards in Lagos; Says Keshi’s Eagles contract is being worked out
ON ASISAT’S DOUBLE WIN
We’re happy about it, I think she has done us really proud. Rising from the juniors to the seniors, she’s now a super ambassador of Nigeria. We’re very proud of her and we’ll give her all the support, just not her as Asisat but all of her Falcons teammates, for the Women’s World Cup they are going for in Canada in June. Preparation has started already. I can assure, every support that they need will be given to them to make Africa very proud at the championship to further prove we’re best team when it comes to women football in Africa.
ON THE COMPETITIVE OF THE NIGERIAN WOMEN LEAGUE TO HAVE PRODUCeED AFRICAN FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR
Nigeria leagues, both male and female, are very competitive. For it to have produced the African female footballer of the year, in both junior and senior categories, it means the leagues here are good and competitive. And of course even though she (Asisat) has plenty of offers from Europe and she’s still undecided, it means she’s enjoying the league here. We can only make it better.
ON VINCENT ENYAMA NOT WINNING THE AWARD
Naturally I should feel very pained about it (him not winning the award), but being subjective, to have a goalkeeper in that group , that goalkeeper ought to have been given the privilege of being the African Footballer of the Year because rarely, very rarely, do you see a goalkeeper being selected among the best three players in the world.But of course we’re excited he finished among the top three in Africa, which means he’s number two in Africa and to us he has demonstrated what other Africans have demonstrated. He has been to the World Cup three times. He’s shown a lot of dexterity, a lot of sportsmanship and he’s been a good ambassador of Nigeria. Irrespective of the fact he did not win, we’re still very proud of him, we’re very proud of Yaya Toure as well, he’s also a good ambassador of Africa even though he plays for an opposing country (Ivory Coast). Whenever I see him I feel very bitter that he’s playing for a wrong club (country).
ON EMEM EDUOK’S EAGLES EXPULSION
I take absolute responsibility of the decision we took on Emem Eduok. And why I decided to take responsibility is the fact that over time we have seen this happen a couple of times and the only reason these agents do this is for their pockets. They deceive and trick players. Let me tell you this, Emem Eduok and Mfom Udom I personally called them in Uyo and advised them that now you guys have scored X, Y goals agents will come and deceive you, please take care about what you’re going to do. We didn’t just jump into taking that decision. I called the chairman (NFF) Technical Committee, Chairman Ethics Committee and I also called Chairman Legal Committee. I sought for their opinion, they came back and their advise informed the decision that we took. Before then, the boy himself was not concentrating and when this is the situation such a player can distract others in camp.
Not going to the Nations Cup does not mean that Nigeria is dead. Right now we have two important games. We’ll play against Yaya Toure in Abu Dhabi. We’ll also play Sudan and of course you know its not going to be easy playing against Ivory Coast and Sudan. We’re playing two matches in Abu Dhabi, its not going to be easy so we don’t want any distractionmOn.
ON YOUNG PLAYERS LIKE KELECHI IHEANACHO NOT MOVING STRAIGHT TO SUPER EAGLES AS OSHOALA DID TO FALCONS
The issue of our young players like Kelechi Iheanacho not moving straight to the Super Eagles as Asisat Oshoala did from Falconets to Super Falcons, I can say that what you will be seeing in the future will be transition where players move up from the juniors to the intermediate, from intermediate category to the senior level. This is what you’re going to be seeing and it will be well orchestrated.
ON KESHI’S EAGLES FATE
We have not said we’re not going to offer him a new contract, we’re going to offer him a new contract but you see the truth is that a lot of things are being put into consideration.
Keshi is going to be given a new contract but the contract he’ll sign will have some clauses in it. Such clauses include that he will work with the technical study group, he will work with the technical committee, in terms of players selection amongst other terms. All these have to be embedded into the contract. We’re also looking at other areas like when there’s any window we could send him on attachment courses with various clubs in Europe. These are some of the things we want to do to enhance his capacity. You will agree with me that Keshi has won everything, he just needs to be enhanced in terms of building his capacity and this is really what we intend to do.
When all these are finalized and agreed upon by both parties, sure, he’ll sign his contract papers.
ON PEACE IN NFF OVER BARRISTER IYKE IGBOKWE’S PETITION
Peace has always been there in Nigeria football. Its a distraction that we’ve finally put to rest.
ON NIGERIA NOT WINNING THE CAF FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR DESPITE CLAIM OF GOOD LEAGUE IN THE COUNTRY
I can’t remember the last time an English player won the European or World Footballer of the Year, yet they have the richest league in the world. What it means is that African football has come of age, you need to work very hatd to win it. And we’re working very hard in making sure that our players like Emem Eduok do no go and sign with an agent who will trick him to sign slave contracts. Eduok is a fantastic player. Imagine an Emem Eduok as an Arsenal player in the next two or three years, surely he will win African player of the year.
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