By Sab Osuji:
Former Vice chairman of Nigeria Football Association, Chief Gabriel Chukwuma has posited that Super Eagles trio of John Obi Mikel, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa have no realistic chances of scooping the 2016 CAF Player of the Year Award, completesportsnigeria.com reports.
African football ruling body, CAF, last week released a 30-man list of the continent's best players from where the best will be selected in January during the award ceremony slated for Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria.
Super Eagles captain and Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel; Manchester City teenage forward, Kelechi Iheanacho and Leicester City winger Ahmed Musa made the list.
But the defunct Gabros International Football Club President, in what he described as his candid opinion while speaking exclusively to Completesportsnigeria.com, submitted that the trio have not done enough to merit the crown.
"I'm a Nigerian, a patriotic one for that matter.
"I would want any of them to win the award just as the likes of Nwankwo Kanu and Victor Ikpeba did in the past.
"But the truth is that none of the three has done enough to merit the award," Chukwuma told Completesportsnigeria.com frankly.
Chukwuma was vice chairman of the NFA during the reign of Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima.
He further sounded confident that Super Eagles will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia, boasting that neither Algeria nor Cameroon can pose a potential threat to the Super Eagles in the on-going qualifiers.
"I'm very optimistic that Super Eagles will be in Russia," Chukwuma sounded to Completesportsnigeria.com.
"If Algeria who are Africa's best ranked team could not beat Cameroon, then they won't pose any problem here next month for the Super Eagles.
"Eagles will pick the sole ticket well ahead of time.
"Their victory in Ndola, Zambia, has further given me confidence that it is Russia here we come," he reiterated.
The Nnewi business mogul is full of praises for the German Super Eagles new coach, Gernot Rohr.
"I've always insisted that foreign coaches are the answers to our football problems," Chukwuma said to Completesportsnigeria.com.
"I've said it times over, that our domestic coaches are more of players' agents than coaches and I'm sure Rohr has proved me right with the way the Eagles played and won in Zambia.
"The Eagles we saw in Zambia was a near perfect team even though they are still work in progress."
He nonetheless expressed deep worry over the deteriorating state of Nigerian football and heaped the blame on the doorsteps of the NFF leadership and called for the resignation of the NFF President, Amaju Melvin-Pinnick.
"Nigeria will not be taking part in the FIFA U-17 World Cup next year.
"We'll also have missed the U-20 World Cup also next year.
"Worse still, the Super Eagles will not be in Gabon for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
"This is a dark era in our football and it is only normal and honourable for the (NFF) President to resign.
"He has failed and should leave for others with better ideas to come over," Chukwuma demanded.