The question of improvement has thrown a hot pan on the developmental aspect of the Nigerian football. The football association later renamed Nigerian football Federation was founded in 1949. However, the Nation’s premier football league was form in 1988. Since then no meaningful improvement has occur in the Nigerian soccer scene.
Despite the early establishment of the NFF, one could say Nigerian soccer growth started in the early 1990’s when the likes of Clemens westerhof, Emeka Omeruah, Alhaji Sani Toro, Austin Mgbulo, etc were in charge of football matters in the country. Since then, the nation’s football has not improve. The following points below can hold sway that the nation’s football has not really improve to the level or height we all want it to be.
Despite the formation of the premier league in 1988, the standard of the league in the country is still below average. Imagine a professional league where one hardly gets an away win or in which any match is broadcast on air.
The low level of football facilities that have bedeviled the Nigerian football scene can be seen by all. No football club in the country can boast of any single own stadium. The few facilities that have suffered from neglect are fully own and managed by the various states governments.
This has been the bane of Nigerian football. Corruption reigns supreme at the glass house, where top officials constantly enrich selves with football funds allocated for the development of the game in Nigeria. lets not forget the current lingering case between the EFCC and the immediate past NFF president, chief Sani Lulu who is been charge with embezzling the sum of 2.5 billion naira!
Despite the nations victories in age grade competitions, there have not been any significant development in grassroots’ soccer. How would you expect a 30years man to be enlighted as a U-17 player only to win laurels that very moment. But after two to three years, that player fizzled out and is forgotten. Because he can’t continuing playing at such great momentum when he is 40years old.
I can categoritically say that in all age grade competition that Nigeria has enter for and won; she has never used the right set of players who truly fall into the age bracket of U-17.
The nation’s lack that maintenance culture, of which almost all its facilities have been mismanaged. Remember in1999 we hosted the FIFA U-21 world cup with five top class stadium located at Enugu, Lagos, Kano, Bauchi and Abuja. Today these stadiums have been mismanaged that you even feel so bad. Imagine presently the once cherish Abuja National stadium is bad and not fit to host any games for Nigeria. The NFF is infact locating for a match venue(s) that will be used to prosecute the JUNE 2012 world/African qualifiers.
UNFIT AND CORRUPT MATCH OFFICIALS:
The use of unfit and corrupt match officials for the Nigerian premier league games have hinder the development of the game in Nigeria. a case where match officials favours home sides in any encounter played at home soil tend to portray our league as too bad and below average.
The frequent interference of both the state and federal government in football administration has hindered the growth and development of the game in Nigeria. Imagine the poor outing of the super eagles at the 2010 world cup in South Africa lead to the banning of all Nigerian national teams from FIFA/CAF organized football events by President Goodluck Jonathan. That decision was however rescinded.