A former Super Eagles international, Victor Ikpeba, has urged the indigenous coaches to put personal interest aside, if they desire to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.
Ikpeba made the call on Thursday during a novelty match organised by the Nigeria Football Federation, the Edo State Football Association and the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.
The match featured ex-Super Eagles players, including Mutiu Adepoju, Peter Rufai, Austin Eguavoen and Uche Okechukwu.
He said, “Our local coaches have to put up their game. They have to be very passionate about the game. They have to think about what they can do for whatever team, whether it is the U-17, U-20 or U-23. They have to try to think about success first.
Ikpeba said the performance of many Nigerian coaches had been affected by their personal achievements, which he said had been allowed to overshadow patriotism.
“The problem with our local coaches is their personal interest. So, if they can do away with their personal interest getting above national interest, why not?
“I think our local coaches have to change their mentality and they should not get themselves into chasing personal interests. Nigerian coaches can have successful spells with the national teams, if they decide to serve with patriotism.”
Ikpeba noted that while the NFF should not take the blame for seeking a foreign coach for the Super Eagles, local coaches should be encouraged to aspire for greater heights in their careers.
He added, “You can’t blame the current NFF board trying to get a foreign coach for the Eagles because you shouldn’t forget (that) we did not qualify for the last two African Nations Cup.
“Amaju Pinnick wants to qualify Nigeria for the next World Cup; you cannot put aside foreign coaches. But our local coaches should also be encouraged.”
Local coaches are affected by Personal interest — Ikpeba
Reviewed by Sunday Owowo