NFF Blames EFCC, ICPC For Poor Performances Of National Teams
By Amaechi Agbo
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has extricated itself from the woes bedevilling Nigeria football in recent times rather blamed the nation’s anti-corruption angecies as responsible for the ignominies suffered by the national teams recently, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
The NFF in a 15-page report it cliamed to have submitted to the Minister of youth and Sports noted that the “toxic and disruptive environment in which it has had to operate for the past 18 months” is responsible for the teams’woeful outing in recently tournmanents.
It therefore blamed anti-graft agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimea Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practice and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC for the failures of the National teams in tournaments.
EFCC is currently prosecuting top NFF officials over corruption while ICPC recently sealed the officials properties in Lagos and Abuja alleging that the officials acquired properties far above their earnings.
It could be recalled that the national senior women team, the Super Falcons opened the can of misfortunes for the country when on October 7, it crashed out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic race.
The misadvent was followed by the home-based Eagles’ failure to qualify for the Africa Nations Championship, CHAN due in Cameroon also next year.
The same home-based Eagles had abysmal show at the 2019 WAFU Cup of Nations in Senegal.
While Nigerians were at loss over the situation, the U-23 team, the Olympic Eagles last week crashed out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifier in Egypt.
In between these events, the Golden Eaglets this month recorded the worst performance of any national U-17 team in the FIFA U-17 World Cup concluded in Brazil on Sunday.
The team led by Manu Garba scored 9 goals and conceded same number to crash out of the tournament at Round of 16.
In view of these, the Minister of youth and Sports, Sunday Dare on Monday directed NFF to give in written form, explanations on why the national teams have been performing below expectations recently.
In the report submitted Tuesday, NFF exonerated itself from blame adding that a nation is judged by the performance of it senior national team, Super Eagles and not underage categories.
“In a 15 –page letter signed by Mr. Pinnick, the NFF detailed issues of funding (inadequacy and late release of same) and the toxic and disruptive environment in which it has had to operate for the past 18 months (with the Federation’s leadership and brand falsely and maliciously dragged from one investigative agency to the other and from one court to the other on same baseless allegations) as core reasons for the poor outings of the Super Falcons, CHAN Eagles, Golden Eaglets and Olympic Eagles in recent international matches/tournaments.
“Pinnick also stated that the best performance indicator for any country in international football is the A team, in this case Super Eagles, which in recent times drew with five –time world champions Brazil and Ukraine in friendlies, and defeated Benin Republic and Lesotho in 2021 AFCON qualifying matches. These, after finishing third at the first –ever 24 –team AFCON in Egypt this year summer. Moreover, a high number of the players in the present Super Eagles squad passed through the various developmental teams, showing that Nigeria is moving in the right direction.”