CHAN Eagles ouster mirrors state of NPFL, says Sodje
Former Super Eagles defender, Sam Sodje, has described Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the next African Nations Championship (CHAN) as an embarrassment that has revealed to the world that the domestic league is in disarray.
Lamenting the poor state of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), Sodje said the performance of the home-based Eagles against Togo in the qualifiers was long coming owing to the players’ inactivity for over four months after the 2018/2019 season ended.
He said that Nigeria football league would continue to fail if people in the helm of affairs were not held accountable for the stunted growth of the Nigeria league.
The former Leeds United of England player added that Nigeria’s domestic players were not given the best preparations for the qualifiers like their foreign-based counterparts got before international engagements.
“I am happy that the CHAN Eagles did not qualify for the championship. I did not even wish for the CHAN team to win at home. The CHAN championship is meant for Africa countries that have quality leagues to display their local talents to the world.
“Nigeria does not deserve to be there because our league is nothing to write home about. The league that is not functioning and well organised cannot be a good representative of the Africa continent.
“I feel bad that the players could not play at the international level after being stopped from the mainstream Eagles.
“The NFF has continued to neglect the domestic league because there are no measures to hold anybody responsible for the deplorable state of the NPFL.”
Sodje added that the ouster was good because it would stop some officials from reaping where they did not sow. He added: “If the CHAN Eagles had qualified for the competition, the federation would have been glad to be at the championship to benefit from the estacode even when they have done nothing to develop the league. I will not stop talking because Nigerian football needs total revamping.
“The players are suffering and Coach Imama believes the domestic players are not teachable. That is not true. He is my friend.
“The major problem the domestic players have is that they are not given the best assistance like their overseas-based counterparts.
“This involves attractive salary, quality medical service, top-grade training facilities, insurance, etc. Our league needs publicity like the premiership.”