2020 Olympics failure disaster for Nigerian football- Mouktar Mohammed

Olympic Eagles striker, Sunusi Ibrahim (M) fights for the ball with Junior Chipolopolo of Zambia defenders during the second group match between Nigeria and Zambia in the ongoing U23 AFCON championship in Egypt.

The Chairman of the FCT Football Association, Adam Mouktar Mohammed has said the failure of Nigeria to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics football event is a complete disaster for the country’s football.

The football administrator who spoke to Daily Trust yesterday was reacting to the recent failure of the national U-23 male team and the Super Falcons to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.

“Our failure to qualify for the football event of 2020 Olympics is a disaster to say the least. We have always been there. Beginning from the victory at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Nigerians have become used to the Olympics.

“What has happened is not good for football development in Nigeria. So there is an urgent need to go back to the drawing board to rebuild the structures from the grassroots to school sports so that we have a solid foundation for growth.

“If you see look at the way some of these boys have come to the national team, it happens haphazardly. We usually go to Europe in search of Nigerian born players to convince them to come and play for the country.

“So there is a disconnect. It is sort of disjointed. We have a local league that is not producing the quality we need to excel. The national team coach has said this before. The quality of the local league is not just good enough. So we need to do more, tell ourselves the truth and then we would begin to see results,” he said.

He also said rather than expose the new goal scoring sensation, Victor Osimhen to immense pressure, handlers of the Super Eagles should look for more strikers.

Mohammed said if not used wisely, the Lille of France striker may not last the distance for club and country.

“Victor is doing well at the moment but historically we have always had one or two players doing well in Europe. So this year, he is doing well but we still have to look at options. We must help him to last long and continue to perform optimally.

“He is just growing so we don’t have to put too much pressure on him. We have to think of injuries and club engagements. There is need to have options like other countries have.

“If you look at countries like Brazil, Germany and even in Africa like Senegal, they have lots of options. They have players doing very well in Europe.

“We have so many talents out there in Europe that we can make use of. Some of these players are targets of European clubs. We don’t have to put too much pressure on one player,” he advised.

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