Late Super Eagles Coach Amodu Had Good Plans for Edo Grassroots Players; Died Poor

By Daily Sports on February 7, 2019

Views: 320

Before his passing in 2016, former Super Eagles chief coach Shuaibu Amodu was Director of the defunct Edo State Youth football club, a team of young players plucked from the grassroots by the Edo government. The main aims of setting of the Edo youth team were to develop the talents of young players in Edo state for professional football under the watchful eye of top coaches of Edo origin and to serve as a feeder team of some sorts to Bendel Insurance FC, the state government-sponsored professional league club.

As Director of the team, Amodu was the overall head of the academy. A source close to the Edo Sports council told me that Amodu was very passionate about the progress of the youngsters and initiated several programs for the development of the team but, unfortunately, there were teething financial problems that hampered the youth academy and prevented the fine coaches of the academy to finish the good job they were doing with the players.
“Amodu had a fine blueprint of how the players would develop gradually into being big stars. But money from the state government at that time was not coming sufficiently for the team to meet its planned programmes. The coaches of the academy including Amodu himself were struggling to even get paid and this was morale-sapping,” my source tells me.
Even with a distinguished international coaching career profile, my source revealed that Amodu was around the time before his death (he reportedly died in his sleep on June 10 2016 after complaining of chest pains the night before) seriously broke as he was owed by the NFF who he worked for as national team coach at various times and as Technical Director of the NFF as well the Edo State Government who he served as the Director of the state’s youth football team.
“Amodu was in a financial mess before he died. In fact He died poor. He didn’t own a house of his own in Benin City where he lived his last years and his landlord was threatening to evict him because of unpaid rent. (Super Eagles player) Ederson Echiejile had promised to give him 50,000 naira to ameliorate his condition as his financial situation took a turn for the worse. Such was his financial condition then,” my source told me.
Amodu was contracted for the position of Director of the Edo State youth team by the administration of comrade Adams Oshiomhole. That administration is widely viewed not to have prioritised sports as top of its development agenda of the state and instead focused resources on other sectors.
“During the condolence visit of the then Governor Oshiomhole to the family of Amodu following his death, one coach in the state openly confronted Oshiomhole in tears. He shouted and blamed Oshiomhole for owing Amodu salaries saying it contributed to his poor health. He was led away by the governor’s aides from the room,” my source adds.
It should be noted however that the Oshiomhole administration reportedly gave Amodu’s family 8 million naira after his passing for their upkeep.
It was also revealed that at a certain time when the Edo Government made funds available for the Edo youth team, the options was given to either use the money to offset the salary arrears of the coaches or to prosecute a planned foreign trip for the players of the team.
“Amodu called a meeting and sounded out the coaches about the options for the money. He didn’t take an authoritarian decision. In the end the coaches opted to take the money as their salaries as they were in desperate need of it themselves to take care of themselves and their families. But in hindsight it would have been better in the long run for them to have allocated the money for the players to travel out for their football programmes as some of them could have been top professionals today by virtue of it and would have more handsomely rewarded their coaches. There were very good players in that team,” my source reflects.
Amodu died in his sleep at the age of 58.
This sad story should serve as a reminder of how things should not pan out as regards how those who have served the nation are treated. 
It should be noted however that the present administration of governor Godwin Obaseki had placed sports as a top priority as the state’s Sam Ogbemudia Stadium is currently undergoing massive renovations to bring it to the standard of modern international stadia, while the state’s professional football club Bendel Insurance have been rebranded to a more modern outfit with players and officials not having to complain about unpaid salaries as it was in the last. The club currently are participating in the top flight Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after they returned last month, having been out for about a decade in the 2nd tier NPL.

amodu

•Photo shows late Amodu

Source

Posted February 7, 2019

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