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Foreign scouts set to discover stars in Nigerian league

By Gowon Akpodonor
01 December 2021   |   2:48 am
Organisers of the ongoing ‘Lagos 21’ scouting programme are confident they will discover new Okochas, Kanus, Ndidis and Ighalos to prove to Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr

Organisers of the ongoing ‘Lagos 21’ scouting programme are confident they will discover new Okochas, Kanus, Ndidis and Ighalos to prove to Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr, that there are potential stars waiting to be uncovered in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).

Over five top scouts, representing various clubs in Europe, are in Lagos to begin a massive scouting programme.

The scouts from France, Turkey, Germany and other parts of Europe are in Nigeria at the invitation of some renowned sports promoters and football agents who started the programme with the Lagos’s leg on Sunday at the National Institute For Sports (NIS) pitch at the National Stadium, Surulere.

Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan (3SC) defeated Sunshine Stars of Akure 1-0 in the opening match Sunday.

The Chief Organiser of the scouting programme, Okpalajiaku Obiora, said the train would move to other parts of the country, adding that the foreign scouts are working with various Nigerian clubs’ directors to get quality players.

According to him, players discovered in the scouting programme will be linked to various foreign clubs soon.

He hinted that such players would not need to undergo the rigorous exercise of further trial on arrival abroad.

Obiora said the scouting train would head to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on December 15, just as he revealed that the scouts had identified some talented players in-game between 3SC and Sunshine Stars, MFM versus De Cardinal FC and FC H2C Chulson versus Gidado, and other teams.

Commending the programme, top football agent and Chief Executive Officer of Ude Sports International, Uche Egbuku, said it would confirm that Super Eagles’ coaches have been unfair to players featuring in the local league.

Egbuku said he discovered Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi and Uche Agbo, and had helped several other Nigerian stars to get clubs abroad. He also faulted Rohr’s refusal to invite the most valuable player in the Swedish League, Akeem Amao, to the Super Eagles.

According to him, Amao is one of Nigeria’s most promising players abroad and needs a prompt invitation to the senior national team.

He said: “Gernot Rohr and other Nigerian coaches must avoid sentiments and pick the best players at all times. Amao is young and talented, and that is why he is the best player in Sweden. It is said that he and other good players are being ignored for no reason. The idea of hanging on to tired players is over.

“This scouting programme, which is being handled by credible coaches and technocrats, will expose the bias and incompetence that has bedeviled our football.”