Questions Loom After Nigeria Loses CHAN Final

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This analyst believes that Nigerian football needs a complete overhaul.

Nigeria’s home-based Eagles failed to learn a lesson from the 2017 WAFU competition and ended up losing Gold again. This time it was in last Sunday’s CHAN (African Nations Championship) final.

Morocco celebrates after defeating Super Eagles (photo, Complete Sports)

Nigeria was defeated by Ghana in 2017 WAFU Final 4:1, and suffered another heavy defeat, 4:0, to Morocco in the CHAN 2018 final.

Coach Usman Haruna Ilerika labeled it a “mediocre performance” and Godwin Bamigboye, Chairman of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association, Abuja Chapter, said: “I felt bad with the result, but it shows that we need to improve on the administration of football in Nigeria with special emphasis on the technical department and its operations.”

It may seem odd that winning a Silver Medal would bring negative responses, but it’s clear that expectations were much higher. It leaves you wondering about the standard of competition in the Nigerian Professional Football League.

The prevailing feeling is that the technical ability of the players did not reflect the professional status of the NPFL. Was that the fault of the National Team coach? I don’t think so. Is it a selection problem? Who knows?

But the truth of the matter is this: Nigeria’s football system needs a total overhaul.

More emphasis has to be placed on grassroots football in Nigeria with coaches’ education at the forefront.

My belief has always been this: “If you can’t get it right at the grassroots, you will not get it right at the top.”


About Lerche Njang

My name is Lerche Njang. I’m a coach and scout who specializes in soccer. I’m originally from Nigeria, but now live in the Philippines. I own L & M Football Academy in Nigeria and work as the U14 head coach with FC Metro Manila. I played with the San Francisco Seals, the Kunming International FC in China, and Thunderbolt FC in Nigeria. I have an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) ‘C’ coaching license and hold a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Calabar, Nigeria. I also earned a certificate in Soccer Operations and Management from Sports Management World Wide Birmingham, UK.

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