There’s a thing that Nigerian football is not doing right. Actually, several things, but I’m not going to talk about them all. The thing I’m going to focus on, however, is the absence of appropriate, functional youth programs. No, don’t tell me about the federal government-assisted football camps for young boys and girls. Those are concepts that someone thought up, but forgot to write down; they don’t exist right now.
Is anyone paying attention to the youth setup in some European countries? Take England, for example. There, every tier of government is fully committed to the development of football. That is why they have loads of training centers, which are as properly maintained as you can find. They also have this fastidious attention to detail, which means that every aspect of their players’ lives are well taken care of.
This is not restricted to England, mind you. That is basically how sports in general is viewed in most European countries. In the Americas, football is so close to religion in their hearts. Therefore, you can imagine how seriously they take sports development there. Does anyone care to know why South American teams dominate world football nowadays? It is because they took gargantuan strides to make their young people play football in the best of conditions. Youth programs are a real thing in South America. That is why there is always a player younger than 22 years from somewhere in South America in the news. Either they make a mouthwatering transfer to some European club, or there is a bunch of clubs tussling for his signature.
I want to see this kind of thing come up in Nigeria today. Ha ha ha, just kidding; we have no such need. We have the all-conquering Super Eagles, have we not? There is no one capable of defeating our Flying Eagles, nor do our Golden Eaglets even have worthy opponents. What do we need youth programs for, to kill vampires? That’s how we deceive ourselves. Instead of our Football governing body to look for ways to make football in Nigeria better, they bicker amongst themselves. And then they owe salaries. Later someone will stand up and tell me that Nigeria is the giant of Africa. I think giant should mean “most backward country” in this context from now on.