Poor infrastructure bane Of Nigerian football, says Amiesimaka
Former international, Adokiye Amiesimaka, has said that the nation may not achieve its full potential in football if it did not build proper infrastructure for development.
World football followers regard Nigeria as a nation capable of doing great things in the global game.
Before the last World Cup in Brazil, Arsenal Football Club Manager, Arsene Wenger, described the three-time African champions as capable of producing, at least, three national teams because of the abundant talents available to it.
Yet the country that was once ranked number five in the world now ranks 67th by FIFA.
Speaking from Port Harcourt, Amiesimaka said until there was proper structure in place, the fortune of the nation’s soccer will keep dwindling.
“We do not get our acts together in this country… we allow the individuals to express themselves only as individuals. The thing is that there is no value added to the ability of our players and that is exactly what is happening to us in this part of the world if I must say.
“It is only when they go abroad, where things are properly structured that you see them coming out and flying high. Those of our players that remain here in the country, though you will always have exceptions, when you look at them critically, you still see some fundamental flaws in them because they are not properly honed. They are not privileged to go through the mill,” he said.
Amiesimaka, who was part of the Green Eagles that won the 1980 AFCON by defeating Algeria 3-0 in Lagos, added: “Four years ago at the Soccerex 2012 in Lagos…an ex-international from Holland told us that those of them in Europe are amazed with what they see in players from Nigeria since they know that in this part of the world we do not have development infrastructure for sports. But that when our players come to Europe in their adulthood to compete with them, that they really give them a run for their money.
“He revealed that in Europe players were groomed from their kindergarten and said that if only we could appreciate this fact and articulate the development process, nobody will see our back. I shed tears when he said that. That is what is happening to us and that is the tragedy of the black man’s situation,” he stated.