Igbeka, Ukadike canvass support for Amodu

They also endorsed the list of 32 players for the Nations Cup camping, stressing that the team could make impact in Angola if efforts were geared towards building a solid side. To the defender of the defunct Green Eagles, Ukadike, “Nigeria has all the ingredients to succeed in Angola. But it still needs the total support of the NFF to excel.

“We cannot continue to dissipate energy on the debate on who will coach Nigeria now. We should rather look at ways to ensure that we get to the position that we supposed to be in. We should be up there among the best teams in the world and I think Amodu can lead us there.”

According to the United States-based Igbeka, who played club football for Asabatex, Pan African Bank of Port Harcourt and El- Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, “it is time we started allowing local coaches to be in control of technical affairs of the national teams.

“Specifically, for the Nations Cup and World Cup, Amodu and his team have done well by my reckoning. If they could get us this far, I think they should be given the chance to complete the job by taking the team to the 2010 competitions.

“There is the need for the authorities to allow local coaches to go to those competitions and gain experience and knowledge. After all, if they are not allowed to have the experience, how long must we continue to depend on foreigners? So let’s fall back on our own.”

Igbeka, who was also a member of the first national U-20 team to represent Nigeria at the FIFA Junior World Cup, Mexico ’83, and later graduated into the Green Eagles, said of the World Cup fixtures: “Yes, the fixtures have been made and it’s not something scary to me.

“The teams against us are all very well known to us. So, it’s up to us to think fast on what to do instead of continuing the debate on who should or should not be in charge. And we have quite sometime to do something tangible for football.

“This is not an opportunity we should let slip by now. If we can apportion full responsibility for these competitions to our local coaches now to give them more confidence to carry on, I know they can move mountains.

“These days, countries put full responsibility for national teams on their own people. We can gain by doing the same, after all any outsider that comes now will ask for time to adjust and know our players first. If he fails, he would give an excuse of lack of time.”



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