–Former Nigeria captain advises NFF
Former Nigeria coach, Christian Chukwu has posited that Super Eagles revival in the aftermath of the team’s failure to qualify for the 2015 AFCON lies in the NFF looking for talents from the domestic league.
The Enugu Rangers Technical Consultant believes over reliance on overseas-based talents has detrimentally affected the country’s football fortunes in recent years.
Nigeria’s senior national team, the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations despite emerging champions at the biennial soccer showpiece in 2013.
Chukwu acknowledges that it is important get the “the right balance of” overseas-based and home-based talent in the national team.
“We no longer pay attention to our local league as we used to in the past. The foreign-based players are important but the foundation, which is our league, must not be ignored,” Chukwu told supersports.com.
Chukwu, who lead Nigeria to a third place finish at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia, however reckons that “things will get better if we return to the basics.”
“As African champions, we are supposed to be in Equatorial Guinea next year to defend our trophy but I am sure things will get better if we return to the basics.
“In the past, we had very good players come through the local league. There are so many good players in the country but they are not given the opportunity to develop,” he said.
Chukwu, an Enugu Rangers legend, captained Nigeria to their first Africa Cup of Nations success in 1980.