Amokachi, Yobo can boost football fortunes

It is very difficult if not impossible to satisfy the yearnings of football-crazy Nigerians. Almost every average follower of the beautiful game is a coach and an administrator of football at the same time. Against the very best countries in the football world, the fans here expect good results from the Super Eagles. At club and national team levels, young coaches are now in charge all over the world.

This is one development many followers of the game embraced in the country but when the Nigeria Football Federation named a former skipper of the team, Joseph Yobo, as assistant coach of the Super Eagles, some Nigerians cried out, faulting the move of the federation.

Yobo paid his dues in the national team and remains the most capped player with 102 caps in 13 years. He was a leader through and through. Many of his colleagues came out to support his appointment based on his experience. A former national coach, Austin Eguavoen, noted that the former Everton defender had the pedigree to move the country’s football forward.

The appointment was a good thing for our boys. Yobo has got the pedigree to do a good job and take the team higher. Eguavoen said: “He is a thoroughbred, dedicated professional during his playing days. He understands the psyche of our boys and he also knows the importance of playing at the Nations Cup.

I don’t envisage any problem for Yobo to work with Rohr. It is a big boost to the team.” Yobo was the captain of the 2013 team that won the Nations Cup for Nigeria.

He also represented the country at three World Cups and so he is equipped to impart knowledge in the current young lads in the Eagles. It is of note that some Nigerians criticised the move because Yobo is yet to get a certificate as a professional coach and former NFF Technical Director, Kasimawo Laloko, also faulted the move, saying Eagles manager Gernot Rohr was not strong enough to give the former Eagles captain a good foundation as a coach.

I disagree with Laloko and all those against this move because Yobo’s wealth of experience will be a huge asset to the team. The players will also respect him as coach and a mentor.

He is currently in coaching school and will be learning on the job. No doubt, Yobo is a potential head coach of the team in future. Yobo’s appointment was just one of the interesting developments Nigerian football recorded in recent times. Another former international, Daniel Amokachi, was appointed football ambassador by President Muhammadu Buhari.

This is another positive signal for the development of the game. Amokachi, one of the players in the golden generation of 1994, was also a member of the team that won gold at the Olympics at Atlanta 96.

He is expected to interface between the NFF and the government. It is another huge plus for the current players to enjoy better welfare. Amokachi and Yobo can bring a fresh air of good tidings to the national team in many ways but it is important for the NFF to decide on whether Gernot Rohr is staying or leaving. Rohr has done his best but going forward, there is need to get another coach that can get the best from the youthful Eagles team.


NFF, LMC must be tough on hooliganism


The best way to rate football standard is through the domestic league. Over the years, people have different views on the league since it is not on television.

The ongoing season has recorded many away wins and there have been interesting results recorded but last week, the fracas in Abia was a dent on the image of the league. Abia Warriors were playing at home against Enyimba of Aba and as early as the 10th minute, fans disrupted the match after the Warriors missed a penalty awarded to them.

They threw stones and other dangerous objects into the pitch and in the process, the Enyimba chairman, Felix Anyasi-Agwu, was hit in the head. He received three stitches.

This is a very sad development and sad enough the League Management Committee and the Nigeria Football Federation did not take decisive action on this incident.

The match was completed next day while a meeting was held but there should be punishment for the home team for not providing adequate security. Until we learn to take stern steps that will hurt the clubs, hooliganism will continue. It is a shame.

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