Tarila Okorowanta, former strike force of the defunct Stationery Stores(Flaming Flamingoes) FC of Lagos, is worried that Nigeria football has gone down the drain accentuated by the fact that the national team, the Super Eagles, was not good enough to qualify for the just ended Qatar 2022 World Cup.
The solution according to him is that football administrators should now focus on the grassroots, schools sports to harvest talents who will peak to become stars in their own right.
“We all know that we have failed. Sports administrators have messed up football in this country. I look at football in Nigeria today and try to compare it to what was obtainable in our days.
“There is a far difference. Today, after the era of the Augustine Okochas, Kanu Nwankwos, Daniel Amokachis etc you can hardly get any player of their class wearing the Super Eagles shirt. If we don’t do something about it now we are doomed. We cannot continue like this,” he stated.
Going forth, he said: “We just have to start from the scratch, the grassroots. In my time we all started like that. We actively took part in the Principal’s Cup, Ajegunle football etc. Everybody was interested and loved to play.
“Today, people no longer have interest because of the way Nigeria football is being run. And it is not supposed to be like that. It is not good going to Europe to scout for players born and bred there that will wear our national team jersey.
“Back in our days players from Europe will come and fight for a shirt not the free access they’re now giving to wear it. Today, the Super Eagles is much like the Nigeria Europe national team. Now, you can hardly spot a local based player in the Super Eagles. What is going wrong with our football?”
On officiating in the national league
Okorowanta, who is now the Team Manager of Bayelsa United FC of Yenagoa, said: “Our league has been turned to a win at all cost thing especially if you’re playing at home. I don’t know what is the problem of the referees. Our league is supposed to be befitting to be watched and enjoyed. But it is not like that.”