Ezeugo blames Westerhof’s shenanigans, Pinnick and journalists for Nigeria's football woes
Ezeugo argued that former NFF president Pinnick and those before him and those who came after him use money to buy the media.
Love him or hate him, one thing you can’t take away from former Super Eagles midfielder Emeka Ezeugo is his courage and ability to speak the truth always. Though he may be brash, Ezeugo speaks the truth to football contractors we call administrators not just once in a while but always. Bothered by the comatose state of football and sports in Nigeria, Ezeugo use to speak on the current state of football and those responsible for the rot, OLUKAYODE THOMAS reports.
“Nigeria’s sports media operatives, sports journalists and my teammates have been the great contributors to the mess we have in our football. You all contributed immensely to today’s Nigeria football trajectory, and you are all not ashamed of yourselves. Where’s the patriotism we once shared and had in abundance?”
That was how former Super Eagles midfielder Emeka Ezeugo began his commentary on the sorry state of football in Nigeria today and the role sports journalists, former players and others played to destroy Nigeria's football.
Going down memory lane
Ezeugo revealed, “My generation of Green Eagles made Nigeria's National Team Super Eagles. We qualified Nigeria for the FIFA World Cup for the very first time. We did exceedingly well and should have gone to the 1994 World Cup final but our coach then Clemens Westerhoff focus on featuring players whom he was their agent. God has his way of responding to the crooked.
“Though Westerhoff made his millions when all his players were displayed in the global window, we got battered by an Italian team that was without a quality player like Zola Gianfranco. Yes, Zola got a red card pretty early and Italy played with 10 men for more than 60 minutes and Westerhoff remained clueless until the last whistle because his focus was entirely somewhere else.”
Football administrators and their collaborators in the media
Known for saying it the way it is Ezeugo claimed, “Nigeria’s grossly corrupt football administrators worked tirelessly to ensure that the backbones of my generation’s Super Eagles were not invited back to the national team. The media collaboration of the corrupt football administrators was shushed.
“Some of my generation's Super Eagles that were in the good books of NFF got invited to the 1996 Olympic Team. They went on to win the Olympics thanks to the continuity in the area of coaching. No Nigerian knows that the continuation with Joe Bonfrere was added to that Olympic gold-winning team. We have never built a good national team because right after winning the Olympics in 1996 the corrupt football administrators and their media puppets weeded out the team's backbone and they have since concentrated on discovering new players locally and in the diaspora, showcasing them in Super Eagles' few matches and sell them to interested foreign teams. It's the money-making part that they are interested in. Nigeria’s sports media operatives shushed”.
“Entire Nigeria’s sports media operatives passionately hate me. Every one of them wants nothing to do with me because I am not cooperative, I remained not silent, and I refused to sing praises of a Nigerian football that epitomizes extended failure. For over two decades, we have been fooling ourselves with our country’s favourite pastime and our country’s sole global brand. Nigeria never reaped the rewards of assembling that 1994 World Cup squad. No administrator saw that team as a team with great potential and a team that has the capacity to go exceptional in 1998, 2002 and even 2006.
Pinnick and his gang manipulate the media.
He argued that former NFF president Pinnick and those before him and those who came after him use money to buy the media.
“Everything about success in football involves proper planning, concentrating on the selection of quality players with the propensity to develop into much greater players in the future. But everything about Super Eagles has been about cutting corners. Yes, Nigeria football exemplifies the culture of cutting corners and our sports media loves it. The football administrators buy them and incarnate them in their pockets.”
There have never been football administrators like Amaju Pinnick and Shehu Dikko who leaves them mentally incapacitated with millions of naira and they remain completely non-existent in the area of adding value to our country’s favourite pastime. Nigerian football died way before the beginning of this new millennium. I'm the only one bold enough to say this and watch the reaction of our country’s media operatives. They will remain as dead as they have always been since Sanni Lulu, Aminu Maigari, Amaju and Dikko messed up our country’s favourite pastime”.
“The media ought to be the arbiters but instead they have concentrated on serving our oppressive and grossly corrupt football administrators. They don't even know what playing an arbitrary role is all about. The same thing that's going on in our politics has been what's going on in our football, our country’s favourite pastime and sole global brand”.
Blame Pinnick for failure to qualify for the World Cup
He believed Pinnick and his board did not do enough to ensure the Super Eagles qualify for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup,
“Pinnick’s administration failed to ensure that the Super Eagles qualified for the last FIFA World Cup in two straight Afcon and our media kept quiet and non-existent. The exact result of the media's silence and total complicity was failing to qualify for the last world cup in Qatar and if we still fail to do the right thing Nigeria will not be in the next World Cup.
Note that if qualifying for the world cup is our goal, if we eventually qualify, we’ll definitely do well because our goal was only to qualify for the world.
NFF administrators always surround themselves with the wrong people including the media sector and iconic footballers and they have flooded the technical committee and technical director positions. We Love making the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results. We are still hiring nonentities as Super Eagle’s coaches and learning zero lessons from the half a dozen white coaches we've subjected our national team with. When little minds are running Nigerian football, their goal is just making sure by hook or crook that the national team qualifies for World Cup; they pay no attention to the local league and grassroots development. Do you know the last time we qualified for U-17 World Cup let alone winning it as we did severally in the past? We have sports media operatives in existence where we come from but have, they ever played their arbitrary role?”
For Ezeugo, the current state of football in Nigeria is what is happening in many developing countries,
“The same damn thing has been going on in India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Kenya and several other African nations. Africa and Asia concentrate on hiring foreign nonentity coaches and expect to succeed. That's not happened, and they will still hire newer nonentity coaches of Caucasian Descent. I'm not seen as someone that can add greater value to all these nations' national teams because I have been no *asslicker* to the grossly corrupt football Administrators and their media puppets. We will never experience success in this nation until corrupt football administrators and their media puppets are completely eliminated. Evil will never cease to breed greater evil.”
“But everything about Super Eagles has been about cutting corners. Yes, Nigeria football exemplifies the culture of cutting corners and our sports media loves it”
We have never built a good national team because right after winning the Olympics in 1996 the corrupt football administrators and their media puppets weeded out the team's backbone