Frontline journalist Mumini Alao has sensationally declared that Nigeria’s current unimpressive performances in age-grade competitions are not enough to press the panic button about but a blessing in disguise for the country to revamp its sports development policy.
Speaking with co-anchor Kayode Ogundare on the maiden episode of Sports Planet Podcast, a premium sports programme from the stables of Complete Sports Studio, Mumini Alao insists that what Nigeria need to do is to shift focus from winning to really developing players for the future.
“When I said we should shift our focus from winning, what I mean is that it shouldn’t matter if our teams don’t win the tournament they go for as long as we can point at three or four players with enough promise to develop into a star in the nearest future. We should build the team to discover players. If, in the course of developing those players for our national team, they win competitions that they go for then that’s fine. But when we focus on winning that is when we fall into the trouble of using over-age players and other infractions.”
The national U-17, the Golden Eaglets, are on the verge of elimination after securing just one point from two games in the ongoing West Africa Football Union (WAFU) U-17, a regional elimination tournament for the African U-17 AFCON scheduled for Morocco.
The Golden Eaglets lost 1-0 with Cote d’Ivoire before drawing 1-1 with Ghana in their group games and a draw in the final preliminary game between CIV and Ghana will knock Nigeria out.
The U-20 team, Flying Eagles was knocked out in similar fashion by the same Ghana and CIV at the U-20 elimination tourney in Benin Republic last December.
You can listen to the full Podcast by clicking here…