Friday, February 26, 2016

Truth and Beating the Chest in Abuja Celebration

Surely, those beating their chests and high fiving in Abuja to celebrate the outing of another Nigerian coach must be aware that the larger picture is that such chest beating has come at the expense of nation – Nigeria.  The rapid demise of yet another national team coach last night following administrative shenanigans should rise to the point of severe concern.

Coach Sunday Oliseh, in spite of his emotional roller coaster and eruptions, does not deserve the barrage of administrative actions that have followed in the last two weeks. Take a minute and reflect. Was elimination from the African Nations Championship (CHAN) the stage from which a coach should be crucified by a federation? If it is, then certainly the federation must be operating without a long term vision. No team, and I mean no team, will reach the zenith o its potential without growth pains. As some speaker once said: “the only place where ‘success’ comes before ‘work’ is in the dictionary.” In the real world, work and its ups and downs come before success. We know now, that the only exception is in the minds of Nigeria’s football federation.

That the federation should suddenly cut off remuneration of Oliseh’s Assistant after the CHAN, ignore the coach’s recommendation for a home venue for an important qualifier, cut off the coach’s financial support for scouting, re-define the coach’s reporting hierarchy, is nothing less than absurd. Above all, to gleefully claim that a coach should succeed while the federation denies him funds and denies players bonuses is indeed a shame.

Nigerians must wait for the federation’s admission of its own culpability in all of this. However, we know such admission is a dream. Instead, the federation will likely cite the successes of Siasia’s U-23 and Amuneke’s U-17 even though those were in spite of the federation’s failure to provide support.

While Nigeria, perhaps, moves on quickly to replace Oliseh, the truth is that the culpability of the federation in these matter should be placed in the memory of Nigerians. To ignore that is to expect the same in the future.

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