Rohr owes nobody apology for not using NPFL players, says Owolabi
The league, which was initially slated, to begin with the major leagues in Europe, eventually took off at the weekend with matches played across the country.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Owolabi expressed his displeasure with the way things were done disorderly in the country, adding that losing the African Nations Championship (CHAN) ticket to Togo was an insult.
“We are just starting the league when others started some months ago and everybody is enjoying watching what is happening in Europe today. Sports, especially football, drive the economies around the world today.
“Go to Spain. What is the economy of Spain? It is football that drives everything there, even in England. For as long as we do not have a good structure on the ground to create the enabling environment for our youths to bring out their potential and their natural endowments, we will continue to be failures.
“We can only make it once in a while but not every day. And that is why there has always been this fire brigade approach in everything we in sports,” he said.
Owolabi, a member of the Eagles that won the Africa Nations Cup in 1980, said the country has missed it when all it does is to identify players playing abroad, rather than discovering talents within the country.
“We don’t discover talents again. The era of discovering players is long gone.
“To some extent, you will have to agree with Gernot Rohr who has decided to rely on identified players in Europe whether they are good enough or not.
“If he has decided to ignore the NPFL players completely, will you blame him?
“As home-based players, Nigeria will beat Togo by several goals in our days. My heart bleeds when I read on the pages of newspapers Coach Imama Amapakabo saying he would rely on foreign-based players to win the ticket to the Olympics in Egypt. You can imagine a local coach saying that. It is a disgrace,” he stated.