Seyi Olofinjana hits out at football organization in Nigeria

Seyi Olofinjana

Seyi Olofinjana has lambasted the NFF for poor management, a lack of planning and foresight.

The former Super Eagles midfielder said that Nigeria dwells too much on the immediate than the future.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has come under a heavy hammer for its lack of foresight and shoddy management of football in Nigeria. The criticism has come from former Super Eagles player Seyi Olofinjana, who accused the FA of not seeing beyond their nose.

In his recent tirade, Olofinjana did not mince words in telling the Amaju Pinnick led board that more is expected of them as they try to propel the Super Eagles to land another Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title.

The current state of the Super Eagles

Nigeria will play its first match of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon against Egypt on the 11th of January. Questions are rife, whether the Super Eagles can win their fourth title.

Undoubtedly, the Super Eagles have delivered less than their potentials in past competitions, despite having a soccer-mad populace and a host of talented players.

Recently, Gernot Rohr was dismissed with less than a month to the AFCON, with the German coming under criticism for results against teams that shouldn’t give the Super Eagles problems.

With Eguavoen (in interim charge) still trying to fashion out a strategy for the AFCON, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced the appointment of Jose Peseiro as head coach to resume after AFCON.

Reliance on talent without a plan

Speaking to BBC Sport Africa, Olofinjana said there has never been a scarcity of talent in the country. He opined that the country lacks a philosophy and structure.

According to the former Super Eagles midfielder, Nigeria lives in the moment.

Olofinjana opined that there is a deception of preparedness, where Nigeria thinks that the boys have done well, but the truth is that there is no plan behind the way the team plays.

Nigeria will play its first match against Egypt (seven-time winners) before keeping a date with Sudan and Guinea-Bissau in Group D. The team saw the exclusion of several players due to injury. Forwards Emmanuel Dennis and Victor Osimhen are two players who dropped out of the squad.

Focus on planning

Speaking about planning, Olofinjana referred to Germany as a nation serious about planning. He said Germany won the World Cup in 2014, but it had failed winning when it hosted in 2006. He said the European nation had a 10-year plan to win the World Cup, which they achieved.

He said that planning for the future is crucial. The former Wolves midfielder Olofinjana joined a host of Africans to hold the position of technical director in Europe. He is the technical director at Grasshopper Zurich.

Olofinjana advised the NFF to plan wide-ranging and long-term instead of short-term. He said it goes beyond how to win a tournament on the pitch. He said Nigeria needs to have a plan and a philosophy.

Olofinjana holds two master’s degrees as a sports director and a project manager. He further explained that planning must involve all levels to achieve success. He also turned down the opportunity to become Nigeria’s technical director before Augustine Eguavoen took over.

This article was most recently revised and updated 6 months ago

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