It’s Delibrate! Former Super Eagles Player Ezeji Reveals How NFF Chiefs are Destroying other National teams


Poor preparation and a fire brigade approach to how teams are assembled for national assignments are key factors that have caused Nigeria to underperform, majorly for continental tournaments, says former player Victor Ezeji.

Ezeji puts the blame of teams that failed to qualify for major tournaments or performed poorly at them, squarely on the Nigerian FA.


He argues that the other national teams suffer neglect because the NFF invests a large part of its resources and time on the Super Eagles; abandoning the youth teams and teams predominantly made up of home based players.

“The major problem we will always have in this country is preparing national teams ahead of competitions or qualifiers for those competitions. The only team that the NFF really cares about is the Super Eagles,” the former Nigeria international told FL.

“The Super Eagles always have time to prepare, but the other teams including age-grade, CHAN team and the rest of them, they are given shambolic preparations and we expect the players to perform magic.”

“Football is not magic; in football you get what you put in, but the situation has been very different here. Just like what happened with the U23 team, they didn’t prepare adequately. Honestly, nobody expected anything different from what they got.”

Ezeji then charged the NFF to adopt new strategies to help the Coaches and their teams.

“I see a situation where teams prepare very well, if we prepare very well then we can expect the team’s to do well.

“One year is a long time to prepare, and sometimes it might not a long time to prepare. The truth is that we won’t start preparation until a few weeks to the CHAN qualifiers; maybe the first leg then they start inviting players to come and they expect the players to do magic. It doesn’t work that way. I expect them to start preparation now.

“If they start now, by the time the competition comes around, the Coaches will fine-tune their teams; They’ve known who is playing for them or who is not playing. Even if it has to be on weekly basis, the camp opens and when they’re done, at the weekend the Players return to their teams to play their league matches and come back to camp, we will get it right,” Ezeji offered.

“But situations where we (the NFF) waits until it is one or two weeks before a crucial matches, then the fire brigade approach kicks in, it has never paid off anytime. When the teams then fail, people start saying the CHAN team did not qualify, but nobody talks about how much preparation they got before such games.

“That has been the bane with the CHAN team and the youth teams all through. Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance; if you prepare very well, you will do well, and if you don’t prepare will you get knocked out.


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