AYC ouster: Don’t crucify Flying Eagles, NFF VP begs Nigerians •Says future of Nigerian football lies with team

By Maduabuchi Kalu on July 27, 2016

Views: 1,171

Following the ouster of Emmanuel Amuneke’s tutored Flying Eagles on Saturday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos the first Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, has pleaded with Nigerian football loving fans and stakeholders not to crucify the team.

He said what the team needed at the moment was encouragement and not criticism as he believed that Flying Eagles was the future of Nigerian Football. The Lagos State Football Association Chairman stated that what happened on Saturday was what makes football wonderful in the sense that it has the capacity to spring surprises at any point in time.

“It is actually disheartening that we lost the game and as a result we didn’t qualify for the AYC, but that is football for you,” Akinwumi began.

“I think that it is easy to blame anything, rain, thunder, brimstone, that team would have won that match on a good day. But in football, sometime you can’t explain it and that is what makes it a wonderful game.

“I told the players that they have every right to be upset with themselves, they can be depressed; but they must stand up and rise again. Nigeria still relies on these boys. We are not going to cast them aside. We’ll not cast them outside because it is work in progress. The future of Nigeria is bright.

“What we had on Saturday is what we call bad day in sports. We all know that those boys are better than what they played on Saturday. We just have to encourage them.

“Certainly there is a future for the boys. That was what I told them just moments ago. That team is the future of Nigerian football. I know they are upset just like everybody is upset. They are disappointed themselves just as we are disappointed that we are not going to be in Zambia next year for the AYC.

“I implore everybody not to castigate them because when you read papers, you see all manner of description and name calling and it shouldn’t be because this team is the future of Nigerian football,” Akinwunmi pleaded.

Speaking further, the NFF’s first Vice President exonerated the technical crew from any wrong doing in the defeat saying: “What about the technical crew? There is nothing wrong with the technical crew in my opinion. I don’t see anything bad about the technical crew it is just a bad day. We have all been watching them. You can’t convince me that a coach that won the World Cup can just overnight become a hopeless coach. No! We will go back and review everything with the technical crew and the technical committee. The technical committee will do their job but I don’t see why we should be discussing the technical crew,” Akinwunmi said.

Akinwunmi bared his mind while fielding questions from sports journalists moments after the Sudanese truncated the Flying Eagles’ quest for a place in African Youth Championship tagged ‘Zambia 2017’ at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

The Flying Eagles had a forth night ago, defeated their Sudanese counterparts in Khartoum 1-2, thereby raising the hope of millions of Nigerian football enthusiasts that the country’s flag would be among the ones that would be hoisted in Zambia next year. However, prior the game on Saturday, it was all over the media that the team was planning to embark on industrial action following none payment of their bonuses and allowances by the Amaju Pinnic’s led board of the Nigeria Football Federation, only for the First Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi to bring five million Naira on the eve of the game to assuage the team to enable them play the game and it seems that that move was too late too little and the result is the home defeat of the Flying Eagles.

Therefore, aggrieved football fans and other stakeholders should go beyond blaming the team and beam their search light on the NFF’s failure to live up its responsibilities to the team and its technical crew.

•Photo shows NFF First VP, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi.

 

Source Daily Sports

Posted July 27, 2016

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