Nigerian Football Lacks Character, Says Gafar

By Akeem Busari –

One of the stakeholders in Nigerian football, Alhaji Gafar
Olawale Liameed says lack of character at the senior level is denying the country her rightful place in international football.

Gafar, the President of 36 Lion Football Club of Lagos, who is known for his love for grassroots football believes it is not yet uhuru for Nigerian football.

Speaking in his office in Lagos, Alhaji Gafar though praised
the achievements recorded by the country at the youth level, he was however quick to state that more works need to be done in order to replicate the successes at the senior national level.

He went ahead to admonish all stakeholders and football administrators in the country to transfer the same synergy and zeal that worked at the youth levels to the senior national team.

“You begin to wonder why we haven’t been able to achieve similar success at the senior level. Everybody has a share of the blame”, Gafar remarked.

“It all comes down to our character. Our football culture lacks character. Our players at the senior level have consistently displayed lukewarm attitude whenever they are called to play for the country”, the board member of Lagos FA noted.

He continued: “Have you watched the Germans, Spaniards and even the Americans play for their countries? You will marvel at their hunger, passion, patriotism and the zeal to win. Unfortunately, that is not the case with our national team players.

“In recent times, the only game I watched and saw our players showed hunger, determination and dignity to win was the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON held in South Africa. It was the quarter final match against Cote d’lvoire, which we won 2-1 that the Eagles really proved their worth”, Gafar said.

“Our players always do well from the youth ranks, but immediately they get into the senior national team, their character changes. They begin to display that unsavoury attitude of ‘what has Nigeria done for me?’

“Painfully, 80 per cent of these players, if they have not played in the U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams of this country, there is no way foreign clubs would consider them for contracts”, the hardworking football administrator added.

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