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Adelabu berates NFF for dropping Coach Omagbemi


Florence Omagbemi

• Wants Technical Committee boss replaced
Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu has carpeted the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for its decision to drop Super Falcons coach, Florence Omagbemi less than a year after she won the African Nations Cup for the country.

Omagbemi and her two assistants, Ann Cheijine and Perpetua Nkwocha were excluded from the list of coaches invited by the NFF for interviews into various positions in the national teams.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Adelabu described the decision to lay off the coaches as a bad step by the football house, just as he called on the NFF President Amaju Pinnick to find a lasting solution to what he termed as ‘back biting’ by some top officials of the body when it comes to selection of coaches.

Specifically, Adelabu wants the NFF board to as a matter of urgency appoint a ‘competent person’ to head the Technical and Development Committee. “This is what you get when you appoint a lawyer as head of the NFF Technical and Development Committee,” Adelabu said. “I had pointed it out long before now that the choice of Barrister Chris Green as chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee was like a square peg in a round hole. It won’t yield any positive result for our football. The man is not thinking of ways to assist the coaches. He is there thinking of what he will gain from travelling around with the teams.

“They did it to Stephen Keshi shortly after he won a Nations Cup for Nigeria in 2013 and we have not recovered from it. Omagbemi and her crew won the Nations Cup in Cameroun last year, and the only thing the NFF Technical Committee could do was to drop her. Even if Omagbemi or any member of the coaching crew did anything wrong, the best way to go about it is to call them and find a way out instead of dropping them out rightly. It does not speak well of our football and for the nation.”

Adelabu, who played for IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan in his active days, added: “Nigeria has a crucial World Cup qualifier against Cameroun, and I think that the NFF should be soliciting the support and prayer of everybody for the Super Eagles to scale through. What do you think will be going on in the minds of Omagbemi and her assistants at the moment? These ‘back biting’ have a way of working against the progress of a national team. The NFF should reverse its decision on these ladies immediately because they should be celebrated and not humiliated.”

There are insinuations in some quarters that two top officials of the NFF are working to bring back former Falcons coach, Edwin Okon, who was sacked in 2015 for under performance. The decision to drop Omagbemi is said to have divided the NFF board.

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