AFCON 2015 miss, a big lesson for NFF, Eagles, says Adepoju
AS hostilities continue at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, former Super Eagles player, Mutiu Adepoju, has urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to redouble their efforts to ensure that Super Eagles get the best technical assistance to revamp the team.
Speaking with The Guardian on Sunday, the former Racing Santander of Spain player praised the teams slugging it out at the prestigious Africa football showpiece, saying that their commitment to their countries’ cause has shown the world that there are no more underdogs in African football. Drawing from the performance of the Super Eagles in the Nations Cup qualifiers, Adepoju noted that the Eagles would have faced a Herculean task to outshine any of the teams in Equatorial Guinea having, especially with such big teams in African football as Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Ghana struggling in the group matches of the competition.
He advised that the only way Nigeria could survive the growing trend of soccer in Africa is for the NFF to make the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) more competitive and attractive, stressing that the League is the viable means to churn out committed players for the Eagles.
“I am happy with the standard of play in the ongoing AFCON championship. Having watched the performance of teams in the championship, I have seen that African football has improved beyond what we used to see in the past editions of the championship. Big teams now struggle to win matches; also the goals scored in every game are not as many as before. This shows that African football is developing.
“The NFF should use the AFCON as a yardstick to revamp the team. NFF must fashion out a process to discover talents in the country, this will help the country move ahead of other nations in Africa.
“One of the key areas the Federation should also focus on is making the NPL competitive. If the right thing is not done I don’t think we might even qualify for the next AFCON. The 2015 Nations Cup has proved that there are no more minnows in African Football,” he said .