Former Nigeria defender warns NFF on dangers of agents, scouts In Flying Eagles campPublished: January 17, 2023
Former Super Eagles defender Ifeanyi Udeze, has condemned the influx of player agents and scouts into the camp of the Flying Eagles ahead of the CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt next month.
The seven-time champions of the Africa youth tournament which serves as qualifiers to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia will be campaigning in Group A of the AFCON where they will play hosts Egypt, Mozambique and Senegal.
Speaking on Brila FM Lagos on the subject of scouts and agents embarking on a mission to either discover new players or influence the selection of their clients (players) in the squad, Udeze stressed that it is counter-productive.
"For scouts to monitor players in trainings is wrong. It will definitely make the players play individual football at the expense of the while team.
"Such teams won't be teams again. The technical crew of the Flying Eagles team and NFF should ban agents from being in the national team camp," said the Brila FM in-house analyst.
"If they want to scout players for clubs, they should attend the tournament proper as agents. I heard scouts from Ajax will be in the Flying Eagles camp in Abuja.
"If they give players and their agents some dollars, they will surely be tempted to collect it, which could be counter productive.
"When I was in the Golden Eaglets team preparing for the Meridian Cup in 1997, we had scouts who regularly came to our hotel. Then the camp commandant wouldn't allow us to get to the lounge.
"So what these scouts did was they went to the window sides of the hotel rooms and communicated with the players they wanted to speak with. That should be discouraged," Udeze added.
Four African teams will represent the continent at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in May.
Nigeria's best outing at the tournament were two runners-up places at the Saudi '89 and Netherlands 2005 tournaments with coaches Tunde Disu and Samson Siasia in charge respectively.
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