Former Nigeria striker Victor Ikpeba has kicked against the recent practice of using only ex-internationals for the national teams’ coaching jobs.
The 1997 African Player of the Year said the jobs should be thrown open, so that other coaches, not necessarily only ex-internationals, could also have the opportunity of managing the national sides.
Ikpeba advised the ex-players to also apply to coach local clubs, rather than waiting for what he described as the “national cake.”
“It’s not every ex-international that must be coach of the national team. There are other coaches who are equally good; if they have the quality to manage the Eagles, why not? Did (Amodu) Shuaibu play for the Eagles? In the 80s we had national team coaches who were not footballers but they did good jobs,” Ikpeba, a member of the Technical Committee, Nigeria Football Federation, said.
“Some of those that played the game especially my ex-teammates should go and coach local clubs; it’s like everybody is waiting to manage the national team. How many of the ex-internationals are coaching in the Nigerian league? Their experience is needed there too.
“In Europe, ex-players want to coach clubs but here everyone is after the national cake and they start causing problems everywhere. They need to learn and attend courses abroad.
“What I’m saying is that other people should be given a chance. It cannot be the same people all the time. If we see a coach who is not an ex-footballer doing the right thing, we should encourage him to coach any of the national teams. Shuaibu became a household name because he was doing well at local club sides before he got the opportunity to manage the Eagles.
“Coaching jobs have to be competitive; there should be criteria. When we keep recycling coaches, we see people go and come back and these people think we can’t do without them. It’s a big problem. It’s not done in other parts of the world. Other coaches should be given chances in the national teams.”
The Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games gold medallist also blamed the ex-internationals turned coaches for not properly developing the players.
He added, “The problem is that our coaches are not really developing our players and educating them on how to behave and become better people in life.
“Now we have a situation where U-17 players are fighting for bonuses; everybody is fighting for money. This trend has to stop because it’s not helping our players. The youth levels are not areas where you become rich but the coaches don’t educate the players on this. These are the areas that will help them step into the next level because if you do well, a better club will come for you.”
“When you concentrate on money, how can you move ahead? If you look at the history of these players, how many of them have gone on to play football at the highest level?”
Courtesy: The Punch. By ’Tana Aiyejina