Nigerian coaches are sentimental – Minister





Sports minister Solomon Dalung has carpeted Nigerian coaches for what he described as their “parochial sentiments” when it comes to selecting players for the national teams. He said such behaviours have always killed team spirit and was one of the major reasons Nigerian teams failed at international levels.

Dalung bared his mind while addressing State House correspondents in Abuja on the issues of getting a coach for the Super Eagles and the recent denial of visas to Nigeria’s U-17 female basketballers by the Spanish embassy.




He said he had always maintained that if the nation could not pay indigenous coaches, then it would be difficult to pay foreign coaches.

  He said, “Do we still go and look for a foreign coach and will he be able to tolerate us without salaries for some time now that we may also be paying him in hard currency?

 “It is a fundamental contradiction to swallow easily but there is one aspect of this indigenous coaching that has been responsible for the poor performance of football in Nigeria which Nigerians need to know.

 “They have not been able to grow above their parochial sentiments. An example is that a coach will train a team; the team will qualify to go to the next stage, once it becomes international they will now submit a different list of people from the ones who qualified.

 “This already has violated what is referred to as team spirit in football. When a team that played qualifiers is different from the one that is travelling for the competition, then there’s problem. We have that crisis on our hands now especially with the list of those who are going to Rio.

 “Those who qualified are fundamentally different from those that have been sent to go and play at the finals, making those who qualified look like those wheelbarrow pushers.

“You know the wheelbarrow is an instrument that is not important; it can only be kept under perennial sun. Once there is load, you go and pick it. So, some people are only good to go and qualify and create room for others to go. That is one of the problems with indigenous coaching.”

Dalung also said the Federal Government would protest the denial of visas to members of the U-17 basketball team. He told reporters that he visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to officially protest the treatment given to Nigeria before getting to the Presidential Villa.

 He said he would carry out further investigation because the reasons given by the Embassy of Spain were not genuine.

 He said, “They claimed that the letter requesting for visa was signed by a dead person. I had in my office today invited the author of the letter and he is a living person.

 “The second reason was that the list sent was padded and that there was an attempt to smuggle some people and traffic them across the border.

 “The list that was brought to me today listed the people that went to Madagascar for competition and there was nothing like padding in it. The last reason was that it was brought in short notice. This one too did not stand the test of the investigation I did.

 “This is why we have protested officially to the Embassy and I have written the international federation concerning the treatment they gave to us.”


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