Former International, Adegoke Adelabu is worried by the continuous dependence on foreign-based players by Super Eagles’ handlers in the on-going African Cup of Nations qualifying series in which Nigeria will meet Libya on Saturday at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.
Enyimba’s goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa is the only home-based player in the 24-man squad chosen by Coach Gernot Rohr for the matches against the North Africans. That situation, according to Adelabu, is despicable and should be corrected.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Adelabu said he stopped showing interest in the country’s football as a result of the state of the nation’s league, where plying their trade in the league are seen as inferior to their compatriots abroad.
“Sincerely, I have lost touch with the Super Eagles set up. I do not know how far they have recovered from their shock exit from the World Cup in Russia. I do not know whether they have new players they can rely on to make it better.
“I do not know if they have actually fashioned out how the team needs to play and not always relying on foreign-based professionals each time there are international matches. We need to create our own football philosophy and I think the earlier we settled down to do this the better it will for us,” he said. The former IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan star advised against gambling with team selection, saying there should be a set standard for any player invited to the national team.
“We should know our standard and know how we produce players, which is the most important thing. We cannot continue to invite players from one place to another just because they are playing professional football here and there.
“I do not know how many home players are there in the Super Eagles of today. When I look at our league, I begin to wonder if this is how things will continue to go. If we can get all our players from abroad then I think anybody can coach our Eagles.
“As a sport scientist, I see it as disheartening that we cannot get what we want from the league because by now we should be able to produce sufficient players and only invite one or two players based abroad,” he said.