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NFF should believe in indigenous coaches, Laloko insists

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Former Technical Director Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Kashimawo Laloko, has expressed disappointment over the frequent employment of foreign coaches for the senior football national teams, saying that these expatriates succeed because they are given enough time.

Laloko stated that the huge salary given to the expatriates was a waste of resources, advising that it should be ploughed back to encourage indigenous coaches to also blossom.

Speaking to The Guardian last week, Laloko explained that the reason why Clemens Westerhof, touted as Nigeria’s most successful coach, excelled was because he had enough time and support given to him in order to qualify the country for its first World Cup in USA ‘94.

“Now that the NFF have told Coach Gernot Rohr to continue on his job as Eagles’ coach, let’s just wish him the best of the luck. But I do not believe that he is the right man for the job. Now, they are saying that the man must stay here and that he must collect money in naira.

“To me, we are just wasting our money when there are so many Nigerian coaches who can do the job for us. We have to start doing things for ourselves by learning from our errors. The other time, Coach Imama Amapakabo messed up as the handler of the U-23 national team; don’t you think he will do well if given another chance? That is why we need to learn from our errors to become better coaches,” he said, adding that the criticism of our league didn’t justify why the home-based players were ignored.

“Majority of the players at our first World Cup in USA ’94 were local-based players. Or was Daniel Amokachi based in Europe when he played for the Eagles, even Finidi George and so many of them? Westerhof couldn’t coach, but got someone to help him assemble and manage the team with all the time to train together.

“The day I was disappointed in Rohr was when he said that the NFF promised to send him for a training course. Who sent me to go for a course in England? Nobody! The first time I was going to do that was in 1974. The British Council sponsored me after I wrote to them. Years later, they allowed me to attend the advance course, before I now enjoyed that of the FIFA and CAF and so on.

“I think a coach is to make himself like someone that wants to go to school. You want to be a graduate and you want someone to come and send you to school. Yes! It is possible, but not when you have not done anything yourself.

“Now they want to employ a foreign coach for the senior female national team. At the last Women World Cup in France, handled by a foreign coach, I saw the Falcons play against the French team. Instead of our girls playing football, they were kicking the French players and even defending when they are supposed to be attacking, and I just laughed.

“What the NFF needs to do is to also give enough time to a Nigerian coaches they appoint to handle any of the senior national teams. It was the time that Westerhof with the support of the government that gave him success and not any magic because Westerhof can only manage, he cannot coach. What I am saying is that NFF should give the same money, time and opportunity they give to foreign coaches to their counterparts in Nigeria to allow them to do the job. I doubt if they will give Coach Ndubuisi Egbo, who qualified an Albanian club, KF Tirana for the Champions League in Europe a chance,” he stated.


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