By Richard Jideaka, Abuja:
The President of Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick has posited that Nigerian clubs will continue to struggle in African club competitions if their present structure is not overhauled, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
He said the solution to Nigerian clubs doing well in the continental championships is for them to be independent of government and build structure and tradition that will take the clubs to the next level.
Of the four Nigeria Professional Football League clubs that started this year’s CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, only Enyimba made it to the group stages of the latter.
“I have said it openly that when we get re-elected by the grace of God, the first thing I will do is to ensure that all the clubs are independent of government and run like true professional club like it is done in Europe and North Africa,” Pinnick told CSN in Abuja.
“Nigerian clubs will continue to struggle because they don’t have the structures and traditions of the Arab teams they are competing with on the continent. Enyimba is the only team that has the semblance of a professional side with history and tradition.
“Again, we need to educate our football administrators, because they are our number one problem. They are dependent on government appropriations. They don’t know that if they run the clubs properly and independently, they would have more money for themselves and their families.
“We have tried it for the past 20 years and it did not work. People should come together and take over the running of clubs and give them good structures and tradition to challenge like in the days of old.”
He urged Enyimba, Nigeria’s surviving team in CAF club competitions, to raise their game and ensure that they win the Confederation Cup to appease Nigerians who are unhappy over the crashing of Plateau United, MFM and Akwa United.