AMIESIMAKA: DON’T PUT PRESSURE ON KESHI, EAGLES
Posted: Aug 24, 2012
Former Green Eagles winger, Adokiye Amiesimaka believes that Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, was wrong in mandating Stephen Keshi and the senior national team to win 2013 Nations Cup or lose his job. He tells SAB OSUJI in this interview that the problem of Nigerian football and sports in general is structural, just as he calls for the scrapping of the Sports Ministry.
What’s your take on the Sports Minister’s directive that Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi should win the 2013 Nations Cup or get sacked?
I don’t think that the Minister was right if he really made such comment. At the national team level the man incharge is no longer a coach but manager. He organises the team, fashions out what strategy to be adopted in order to win games. Players he will use are already made players. But what’s the case with the current team Keshi is handling? When was he appointed in the first place? I think it’s rather too early to begin to put him and the team under such pressure.
With due respect to the honourable (Sports) Minister, because I respect him so much as an individual, but I think the sports ministry has become a comedy clog of sports in this country.
Why? What do you mean by that?
I made it clear at the time former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia was to be sacked that the problem of our football nay the national team was not Siasia. That in fact Siasia was and still is, one of the best indigenous coaches Nigeria has produced. He is on the same scale with most foreign coaches and I rather have him (Siasia) as our national team coach than any foreign coach. Our administrators have tended to chase shadows than the objects. They are indeed the major problem of our sports.
The basic problem with our football is not a particular individual or his abilities or efficiencies. The problem is structural defect as is the case with sports generally. It does not matter who you put incharge as coach of the national team, the team will not do well until we address the structural defects.
What are these structural defects?
To start with, we do not need a Sports Ministry. Having a Sports Ministry as is the case right now is purely politicising sports administration in Nigeria. Instead of Sports Ministry, we should have the National Sports Commission, NSC, with a board and time based chairman renewable after four or five years. This way there could be plan for tomorrow because today in Nigeria we do not have plans for tomorrow which leaves us in a state of planlessness.
Government should hands off sports sponsorship and withdraw all the civil servants in the Sports Ministry and scrap it so, we should professionalise sports administration in this country. The NSC should be made up of professional sports administrators.
But if government insists on running sports in Nigeria, it should take a critical look at its sports budgetting formula. The annual budgetting pattern that operates now is not in the best interest of sports. And for success to be recorded in sports there is need to prepare well in advance and this can only happen if budgets for sports is released well on time.
Preparation for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Jenairo, Brazil should start now. It takes between four to six years of serious, continuous and professionally guided training for an athlete to win Olympic gold medal, or silver or bronze.
Chief Justice, you won the 1980 Nations Cup with the Green Eagles. The Super Eagles are billed to confront Liberia in the last Nations Cup qualifier. What is their chances?
No doubt things have really changed these days. But during our time who is Liberia that we will begin to ask if we can beat them to qualify. The question then would be how many goals we will score.
You need to ask yourself the players Keshi has in his team that he will be given mandate to win Nations Cup. How were the players discovered; how were they nurtured? Were they well guided and professionally guided from formative stage before getting to the national team. How were they trained at their various clubs before coming into the national team? These are the issues. Keshi cannot be the one to play. He has to field the players he has and he should not be put under unnecessary pressure.
Finally, you must have been following Keshi’s rebuilding process. What’s your assessment so far?
It is not about assessing what he has done so far. He is still putting the team together. He has not done yet with his programme. We should be patient, afterall if it were a foreign coach we could not be giving him mandate of winning Nations Cup just few months after he was appointed. The good thing is that he is looking inwards, which is what foreign coaches always run away from. Rather than expect so much from him at this stage, we should encourage him and see where we go from here. They are still in the race for the Nations Cup and the World Cup qualifiers too, which is good for him and Nigerians too. Lets hope the team gets the best of the opportunity.
Today on Complete Sports
Most Recent Stories
- » Clark: Odemwingie Won't Go Cheap (0 comments)
- » MARTINS BACK IN FULL TRAINING FOR MLS CLUB (0 comments)
- » KESHI LEADS 12 HOME-BASED EAGLES TO GERMANY (0 comments)
- » DANNY SHITTU SIGNS NEW MILLWALL DEAL (0 comments)
- » Sidney Sam Set to Dumb Nigeria (0 comments)
- » Give Rafa all the Credit! (0 comments)
- » OWOLABI: EAGLES NEED SUPPORT TO DELIVER W/CUP TICKET (0 comments)
There are no comments