No foreigner can coach Eagles better than qualified Nigerian, says Akinwunmi
• Former NFF VP canvasses support for women football
Former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) First Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, who is chairman of Lagos State Football Association (LSFA), has said that no foreigner can turn the Super Eagles into the team Nigerians desire. He noted that any Nigerian with the expected qualification and knowledge of the game has an edge over foreign coaches.
Akinwunmi said: “We have argued this over and over again. There is a big issue of what to be paid and also the foreign currency issue, but truth is, when we have a Nigerian with the same pedigree, as the foreign handler, all we need to do is to trust the coach and support him to get it right with time.
“No foreign coach will know Nigeria or our players better than a Nigerian coach. That is the way forward and the earlier we embraced this the better for us.
“If we have Nigerians with the same degree, same certificate with the expatriates, the choice must be the Nigerian because that edge of his background will always work for the country in the end.”
The football administrator and philanthropist refused to mention names of prospective Nigerian coaches, but insisting that it was important to look inwards in the overall interest of the game.
Meanwhile, Akinwunmi has canvassed for more support for women football, saying the girls need morale and financial encouragement to excel in the game.
Speaking at the 2022 Sheros Award in Abuja, Akinwunmi said: “We are proud that we have done well, and we are also proud of Ratels Sports Development Foundation for what they’re doing. So I’m very happy.”
He called on organisers of the Sheros Awards to pass the message around to encourage people to come in and see the opportunities in the women game.
Also speaking at the event, Chairman of Ratels Sports Development Foundation (RSDF), Paul Edeh, disclosed that the award is aimed at motivating and celebrating women, who have achieved great feats in their various fields.
He said: “Today is a historical day for us. It is a day that we have selected to acknowledge the efforts of women, who have accomplished all imaginable feats and heights through doggedness, resilience and commitment to the cause we have chosen over time.”
At the event, Bankole Olowookere, Asisat Oshoala, Monday Gift, Ayisat Yusuf Aromire, Tobi Amusan, Betsy Obaseki and Margaret Icheen were recognised for their achievements in sports.
Others recognised at the awards are Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Coach Emmanuel Osahon, Ruqayyah Adeboye, Nelly Orisakwe, late Alhaji Tewogboye Oyewole, Lagos State Football Association and Queen Ruqayyah.