By TUNDE SHAMSUDEEN
Former Super Eagles Coordinator, Emmanuel Attah, has described decisions of some Super Eagles’ players to ply their trade in China as a bad omen for the future of the national team.
Attah made this known on Wednesday in Osogbo, while featuring as a special guest of the Sport Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Osun Chapter’s Monthly Stakeholders Forum.
According to him, who is an ex-footballer and a one-time Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Football Association, said only old footballers whose careers had entered retirement circle ply their trade in China.
“There are certain countries that are always called retirement countries for footballers. When players want to retire from football, they go there and get their retirement benefit and return home to settle and enjoy it.
“China is one of the Asian countries players go to for their retirement benefit and it is not good to see our young players in their active career going to China to play football.
“For the future of our football and to maintain the standard we want to see in the Super Eagles, our players must be discouraged from going to China to play,” he said
He said in terms of league standard, Nigerian league is way better than the Chinese league except for the issue of poor funding of the Nigerian league.
“We can’t compare Nigerian league with Chinese league. Nigerian league standard is higher than that of China, the only difference is funding because Chinese league is well funded.”
He however commended the Nigeria League Management Company for improving the standard of the Nigerian league and added that if the NFF should re-examine the program for home base players, we could have 100 percent local league players in the Super Eagles.”What late coach Steven Keshi did was, he was patient and took his time to groom and develop home base players, from the local League, and his team went on to win the 2013 Africa Nations’ Cup.”
He said if we depend only on crops of the foreign based players we have now, and there are no home base players to compete or challenge them in the national team, laxity would set-in.