Chukwu blames U-23 Eagles’ woeful performance on poor planning, nepotism

Christian ChukwuFORMER Super Eagles coach, Christian Chukwu, has expressed concern over the performance of the national U-23 team in the football event of the on-going African Games.

Nigeria lost 1-3 to Burkina Faso in the semifinal of the event on the same day their women counterparts, Super Falcons, were beaten 1-2 by Cameroun in the female category.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Chukwu blamed the defeats on inadequate developmental programmes in the country, saying the rot would continue unless the issues were addressed.

He noted that Nigeria’s age grade teams, who dominated Africa in years past, now found it difficult to compete effectively in the continent because successive Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) administrations have paid lip service to youth development.

He also blamed nepotism and sentiment in players’ selection for the failures in international championships

“I am not surprised by Burkina Faso’s win. The NFF has been focusing on preparing our cadet teams for championships, instead of organising vibrant development programmes.

“The Flying Eagles did not excel in the U-20 World Cup due to this anomalies; the U-23 team is now going through the same problem. In the 1980s, we had a well-organised grassroots programme that monitored players in primary and secondary schools.

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