‘Dearth of quality players in domestic league responsible for fans’ apathy’
Former international, Dahiru Sadi, has attributed the dearth of quality players in the domestic league, as reason spectators are not interested in watching the games compared to his days.
Speaking to The Guardian during the week, Sadi said that the few quality players, who would have made the difference in the league, left the country prematurely through their agents, thereby, denying fans opportunity to see the stuff they are made of until they come back to play for Eagles as Europe-based players.
According to him, the way players move out of the country seeking greener pastures is agonising. “Once a talent is seen, even before he plays for any team in the domestic league, he travels out to either Europe or Asia, just anywhere to become a foreign-based player.
“These are players who would have probably made the league what it used to be when it had massive followership. Some of these talents, who rush out of the country, are not even after what they can do with the ball. They are only interested in what they can do to leave Nigeria. After all, Obafemi Martins never played for any super club in Nigeria before he found himself in Europe and later on played for the Super Eagles.
“Unlike now, players of my generation had to showcase their skills in the local league before somebody will even say he wants to take you out of Nigeria. In my days, when you are playing against teams like the then Flash Flamingoes, you know you are meeting a good side with quality players. But now, I don’t think we have such teams again in the local league,” he said, adding that the “reintroduction of the YSFON competition will restore the glory our football enjoyed in the past.
“I am happy with what YSFON is doing now. I was invited to watch some of the matches one in Kano and another in Abeokuta. I was impressed with what I saw. It was like the old days when they assembled players from different states of the country and the best picked. For me, that is the best way to start from the grassroots.
“In tackling our problem, a lot of changes have to be made holistically, if we are to make headway. Germany and Italy went through what our football is going through right now. And what did they do? They sat down and said this is what we want to do.
“For some years, nobody heard about Germany and Italy, but when they came out, they came out smoking. I believe we can do it because we have some good local coaches that can mould a team anywhere in the world. It is just the political will that we need to make this possible,” he stated.