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‘Why Nigerian players run from NPFL’



Former Super Eagles Goalkeepers’ Trainer, Ike Shorunmu believes talents are no longer discovered in the Nigerian league because the players are more interested in starting their careers with foreign clubs than remaining in the country to build their careers.

Speaking in the wake of the CHAN Eagles’ second consecutive loss to Togo in the WAFU Cup, Shorunmu also blamed administrators and coaches for not giving adequate attention to the development of players from clubs’ feeder teams.

The former Super Eagles goalkeeper added that another factor that affects the performance of Nigerian players is the neglect of the home-based players by senior national team coaches, saying that Nigerian league players would not improve on their talents if they were not exposed to international championships from time to time.


The former Shooting Stars of Ibadan goalkeeper charged the relevant bodies to work out means of lifting the standard of the Nigerian league to meet the global standards.

“The home-based players failed against Togo because the league has a lot of issues. Apart from the league not in progress, most budding players are not interested in playing in the country because home-based players are neglected in the national teams. And then, the salaries are paltry and in most cases don’t come on time.

“The structure of the league must be revamped to attract quality players. For this to happen, administrators and coaches need to adopt a selfless attitude,” he said.

Condemning Coach Gernot Rohr’s preference for overseas-based players in the national team, Shorunmu urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to call the German to order, saying, “if a player in Europe plays for 15 minutes or is on the bench, the coach still prefers such a player and leave out a home-based star that plays regularly in the NPFL. That does not encourage players to continue in the league.

“The foreign coach will leave one day and the problem of not developing our players will remain. Something has to be done to current these anomalies.

“Other African countries like Togo are working hard to improve their players and Nigeria has to catch up with the trend.”

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles camp will open for the international friendly against Brazil on Monday, next week.

The game is scheduled for October 13 and the players are expected to arrive in camp no later than October 9 to prepare for the tie.

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