By Seyifunmi Odunuga
IBADAN – A foremost football administrator and coach, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde has declared that the world’s most beloved game, soccer is dead in Nigeria.
Chief Onigbinde pointed out that the messy state of football in Nigeria was responsible for the domination of the nation’s national teams by foreign-based footballers.
The Modakeke-born former Super Eagles Coach, asserted that Nigeria had no developmental structure to groom footballers.
According to him, “Nigerian football is dead and this is why our national teams depend heavily on foreign-based players. Sadly we have no developmental programmes to groom footballers”.
Speaking further, the octogenarian lamented that it’s very sad there is no single professional football club in Nigeria.
“Going by FIFA’s statutes which stipulate that professional football teams should be run by elected boards, we don’t have a single professional football club in Nigeria. All we have are government parastatals, because our football clubs are run by governments who should have no business in sports administration”, the two time Super Eagles Manager stated.
According to the former CAF and FIFA Technical Committees member, the improper and unprofessional ways football clubs are run in Nigeria is the reason why the round leather game is dying in the country.
Chief Onigbinde, who was a classroom teacher for twenty years before becoming a full time coach in 1974, made it known that the most outstanding achievement of his career is his record as the first indigenous coach to handle Nigeria’s senior national football team, a feat he achieved between 1983 and 1984, when he coached and led the then Green Eagles to the final of 1984 Africa Nations’ Cup in Ivory Coast.