Tomori and Abraham picked up by England again.
For how long are we going to keep losing our young and talented players to England?
We have talented players. Nigeria is a great nation but it seems we are not doing enough to lure our British born players to play for us.
Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham have been called up to play for the three lions of England. Remember in the past, we have lost talented players like Dele Ali, and Gabriel Agbonlahor, even though the latter didn’t end up playing for the English team.
We also have some players like Victor Anichebe, and Shola Ameobi, who didn’t accept at first to play for Nigeria but later turned up for us when they were declining. Perhaps, they saw the Nigerian team as a last resort.
Where are we getting it wrong?
Legendary super eagles player, Nwankwo Kanu said we (Nigeria) are bigger than players, therefore, Nigeria cannot beg players to play for us, rather players should beg to play for us.
I agree to some extent, but if we actually look inward, the NFF has failed us.
Often times, we hear and read so many unpleasant news on the media. They don’t treat the players well. You can’t bring someone who plays for top clubs in Europe and owe them match bonuses and other benefits. Considering the stress of travelling and change of the environment, it is unacceptable.
There are scenarios where these players are not even paid for several months. We saw the scenario of our female players. They threatened to stay in the hotel where they were lodged if they are not paid their wages. Do players who have accepted to serve their fatherland had to threaten NFF for their rights?
It’s really bad for the image of the country and our football as well. If I am eligible to play for England or other European countries, will I think about playing for Nigeria? I don’t think so.
This is not about patriotism. It is about creating an enabling environment. A positive atmosphere that makes everyone feel a sense of belonging.
These are the issues we must address or else, we will keep losing our talented players to other countries. This is what our Papillo should address before he can think of players begging to play for Nigeria.
Featured image: Fikayo (source: BBC)