Sports

I can’t beg Osimhen to play

Sacking Coaches Won’t Help Us, Says AdelabuNot ready to ‘die’ in silence, embattled Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, has opened up on the turmoil he has faced in his first few weeks in charge of the team.

 

Under Finidi, the Super Eagles suffered a 1-2 defeat to ‘minnow’ Benin Republic, in Abidjan two days after escaping a home defeat in the hands of visiting Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the match played in Uyo. The team, as it stands, may miss out on the 2026 World Cup to be hosted by USA, Canada and Mexico.

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Finidi, who is now on the verge of losing his job, said he has not received much support from his employers, the NFF, and he did not hesitate to fault the commitment of the players to the cause of the national team.

 

On Tuesday, Finidi, along with NFF chieftains, met with Sports Minister John Enoh in Abuja to review Super Eagles tottering 2026 World Cup campaign.

A source told SCORENigeria that Finidi used the poster-boy of Nigeria football Victor Osimhen to drive home his point that the country’s top stars are not fully committed to the Super Eagles.

 

Osimhen was not available for the two all-important World Cup qualifiers with an official explanation that he is injured and sidelined for four weeks.

 

“Finidi said the Napoli striker could still have managed to play these matches,” the source said.

 

“The coach will go on to say that it appears that Osimhen chooses the games he plays for Nigeria and he cannot beg him to play for his country.”

 

 

The former Enyimba coach also bemoaned the complete breakdown of discipline in the team, and was totally disappointed with how the players strolled into training camp for the crucial World Cup qualifiers.

 

He said many of these players have the backing of some powerful NFF Board members, and that it became increasingly difficult to sanction them because he would often be warned that a player “belonged” to a certain “big man”.

Meanwhile, former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu, has insisted that sacking Finidi is not a solution to the problem bedeviling the Super Eagles.

 

“Football-successful countries in the world don’t run around looking for foreign coaches to handle their national teams,” Adelabu told The Guardian, yesterday.

 

“Why can’t we train our own coaches instead of always looking for readymade and magicians to win competitions? Why should we rely on trainers who obtain their coaching certificates from Europe? They don’t have to pass but only attend courses to get the certificate of attendance even if they know nothing?

 

“We have to build our own coaches here with a deeper understanding of our players and developmental characteristics. Now is the time,” Adelabu, a former player of IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan stated.

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