Former Nigeria international and 1980 AFCON winner Dr. Felix Owolabi in a talk with Sports called for the restructuring of the Nigerian Football Federation.
Affectionately known as Owoblow, he said: “I think that the whole structure of the Nigerian Football Federation should be reviewed,” he said unequivocally, adding, “As a coach, in addition to knowing the composition of my team, I make an effort to study my opponents. If they knew that Sierra Leone is one of the hottest countries in West Africa, they would not have set the game for 5 pm They thought they were helping our team, instead they were helping the visitors because the weather was coming for them. rather than our own players. “
He continued, “You could see that after the first half, our players became beaten up and tired while the visitors became unstoppable. It was only the final whistle from the referee that prevented us from getting hit. The climate favored them. The technical department should have known about that country. You can’t say, ah yes Sierra Leone, we can beat them. These are things that a strong technical department would have known and resolved prior to such a crucial encounter. You can’t appoint a carpenter to run football and expect results. “
Pressed further on the issue, Owolabi said that “Yes, the technical department needs improvements. For example, you need the biological data of your players, their age, their statistics, etc. Based on that, you can plan. For example, if you want to play in a country, you need to inform yourself about that country, whether it is small or large. You must study to get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses.
You don’t discount a country because of its size or what you knew about it in the past. You must have a department for that. Planning and strategy. As in his profession (journalism), he wants to go to a war-torn area to report, he does not jump into it. You must do some preliminary work to avoid risking your life. You must first obtain the necessary information before starting your work.
“In football, this is what we call the game plan. Not when a game is about to be played do you need 15 referees to accompany the team. What are you going to do there? Officials are needed before the game because a lot is expected of them in terms of planning for the team to perform very well and be successful at the end of the day.