Enough of the worship of foreign bred players. Look Inwards. Nigerian bred players should be better engaged. We don’t need foreign bred players considering we are a nation of over 160million people.
As a professional journalist, I know how normal it is for the media to sing praises of players born and bred abroad with Nigerian roots, some even leave the local players and start to hype the foreign based professionals.
It is no longer news that Jordon Ibe who has redefined the pronunciation of his name as ‘hybe’ seemingly to denounce his Nigerian roots, has opted for England. I disagree that he snubbed Nigeria but will rather say that, he snubbed the Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh, a home-made/bred ex-player hunting for foreign-made/bred players and who vehemently attempted to persuade him to play for the Eagles.
What’s it with the Super Eagles coach and foreign bred players hunt? He almost caused commotion in the media when he suddenly added Alex Iwobi to the squad that will be playing friendly matches in Europe, making us to start adjusting our reports.
Historically, none of these foreign-bred players has been a success with the national team at the junior and senior levels. It is such a puzzle that the newly appointed coach of the most senior national team in Nigeria, Sunday Oliseh travels to Europe searching for talents that are not interested in playing for their indigenous country.
The coach has never endeavoured to watch Nigerian premier league games in order to discover talents aside watching Shooting Stars play in Ibadan in a august few weeks after the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick watched the same team play Enugu Rangers. Is it all about Shooting Stars, really? And, I wonder what he is looking for in the Diaspora, sincerely, it doesn’t make sense as far as I’m concerned.
What happened to raw talents back home? There is no harm in monitoring Nigerians playing abroad and those who will give anything to play for the shirt; we live in the virtual world and players can be traced on youtube and through other social networks. I prefer the home bred players playing good football abroad – I mean the ones playing week in, week out and not those bench-warming for big clubs.
If Westerhof had gone searching abroad for talents, we will not have a Sunday Oliseh today. Why the hustle that ends up in a fumble?
Victor Moses for example was born and bred in Nigeria before he left for England to brush up his talents. Conversely developing a sense of pride in representing his indigenous country.
In my opinion, Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi are Super Eagles materials, far better than Alex Iwobi and Jordon Ibe ‘Hybe’. Queen’s English or British citizenship will not do the job on the field of play, pure talents only will do the job. Leave the foreign bred alone and let them choose to want to play for their indigenous country.
When Jordon Ibe opted for England, I rejoiced and was happy; I hope Ibe will not come lobbying to play for the Super Eagles in future because many of his kind don’t make it to the senior national team in their country of birth after short stints in the junior cadre. A football stakeholder, Dominic Iorfa once said his son will represent England in the junior level and Nigeria in the senior level; like seriously? So the Super Eagles has become the haven for the English senior national team reject or what?
The likes of Sammy Ameobi, Abbey George, Victor Anichebe have not contributed anything meaningful to the national team? Osaze Odemwingie, played in the Nigerian league before his move to Europe.
If Westerhof had gone searching abroad for talents, we will not have a Sunday Oliseh today. Why the hustle that ends up in a fumble? Please coachie think about where you are coming from and where you are going to; you na local bred na! JJ Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Rashidi Yekini, Obafemi Martins, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Daniel Amokachi, Austin Eguavoen, Samson Siasia, Sunday Mba, Mikel Obi, Godfrey Oboabona, Ahmed Musa, and many more, none were foreign bred and made us proud and some are still making us proud. How many foreign bred player were part of our team when we won the African cup of nations in 1994 and 2013? The answer is NONE.
Please leave them alone and let them go and struggle to fit into their country’s national team. Enough of the worship of foreign bred players. Look Inwards. Nigerian bred players should be better engaged. We don’t need foreign bred players considering we are a nation of over 160million people.
Aderonke Bello is a multiple award-winning journalist, public speaker, change agent, and sports for development enthusiast and advocate.