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Quota system killing Nigerian football, says Izilien



NFF president, Amaju Pinnick

Former Super Falcons coach, Godwin Izilien, has revealed that one of the forces hampering Nigerian coaches’ efforts to get it right in players selection for international engagements is the quota system rule laid down by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for national team coaches.

Izilien told The Guardian that if the NFF stopped meddling on players’ selection for the national teams, Nigerian coaches would pick the right players to win major championships.

He explained that for the Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, to assemble a formidable squad, he has to stand his ground and make the federation understand that quota system should not be applied in soccer.

Izilien recalled that while he was handling the Super Falcons, the quota system issue almost ruined the team’s chances of exceling, saying that the system has on several occasions disorganised some promising teams

On the sack of former Super Eagles assistant Coach, Daniel Amokachi, Izilien said since the NFF waited this long to name Keshi’s assistants, the body might also be acting on the quota system, which might not go down well with the former Togo manager.

He called on the federation to create a healthy environment for Nigerian coaches at all levels to select credible players notwithstanding where they come from.

“The issue of selecting quality players for the country’s national teams, especially the Super Eagles, would not have posed any problem, assuming the NFF stopped preaching quota system. If a coach can get the best players he needs to succeed from a particular region of the country, I don’t think there is any cause to worry. Keshi must be confident to stand his ground when inviting any player. When I was the coach of the Falcons I was made to drop some quality players based on quota system and this almost marred my team,” he said.

He also advised Keshi to put his acts “together to pick the right players without sentiments. This will not give the NFF the chance to meddle in the affairs of the Super Eagles.”

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  • Ako Amadi

    Why is Mr Izilien all tongue in cheek? We’ve heard this for over 20 years now, and yet nobody is bold enough to cite specific instances of tribalism in selection of players, even if we know it exists. All the same thanks to Mr Izilien for providing the can of worms. Now someone must open it!

  • Success Oloriire

    Nigeria coaches were too tribalistic make it comes to that. with keshi free hand, did he bring out a team? that team is the worst i ve ever see Nigeria team. well the truth is Nigeria need to do like U.K. inside united kingdom have 4 counties just like we are also 4 countries or 3, they need to let us go regional as we do during Odegbami Chukwu time, not these that you will say Yoruba dont know how to play and select all Igbo haba, so let present our case to united nation to have 3 counties just like our colonial master did, Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales all can play world cup so why not us?

  • Success Oloriire

    We are too big to be one country, it will be bringing fight all the time, when Hausa have not put interest we complain but we Yoruba still forgo but when hausa now bring players, you know them they also want to dominate even if not good enough

    • kay davis

      Really? Is this country bigger than the United states of America? No, not even close . Nigeria is about the size of Texas and California put together. But they always get things done because they are united and are committed to a common cause. Africans need to get their acts together.

      • Success Oloriire

        you may be right but come to think of it, the 3 major region that form Nigeria were very egostic, no one will lower his ego atall, they were all very inteligent and different in culture,custom and character, the truth is we were living by force of british amalgamation and till now we cannot gel. that is the true situation of things unlike oyinbo who share everythings in common, religion, custom, character, culture etc. lets call spade a spade, we were difference and no one is ready to let go.