U23 AFCONQ fallout: NFF responsible for the failure of Olympic Eagles

Published: March 29, 2023
U23 AFCONQ fallout: NFF responsible for the failure of Olympic Eagles

The Olympic Eagles will not be at the Africa U23 Cup of Nations after losing to junior Syli of Guinea 2-0 on aggregate in the final qualifying round for the tournament in Morocco. 


​This also means that Nigeria will not be participating in the football event of the Olympics, which will be held next year in Paris, the second consecutive time the country has failed to do so.

The failure of the Olympic Eagles was solely orchestrated by the Nigerian Football Federation, led by Ibrahim Gusau, as well as the erstwhile administration under Amaju Pinnick.


Here is what I mean.

It was under Amaju Pinnick that coach Salisu Yusuf was appointed. Salisu Yusuf had previously led the CHAN Eagles to a second-place finish in the 2018 African Nations Championship but there was nothing to suggest that he was the best local coach at the time of his appointment, not even when he was indicted, convicted and punished for bribery.

Salisu Yusuf was in charge of Kano Pillars when they were relegated last season in the Nigerian Professional Football league and was not spectacular in his previous job as Rangers international coach. What then merited his appointment?

Concerning the culpability of the current administration, the NFF approved a list of players, the majority of whom were playing in inferior leagues in Europe.

For instance, in a country brimming with football talents, Salisu Yusuf with the approval of the NFF invited Omole Akinyinka Olaoluwakitan who plays for England's 9th division side, Newham. What an insult!

As if that was not enough,16 of the locally invited players invited were found ineligible.. Can there be further proof of incompetence?

The above factors as put in place by the NFF culminated in the failure of the Olympic Eagles to qualify for the U23 AFCON.

Nigerian football is at its lowest ebb, there is nothing superb about the Super Eagles, the Flying Eagles failed to fly at the U20 AFCON and the Super Falcons are no longer the dominant force they once were and the NFF has to step up now before things worsen.



Abdulkareem Abdulhamid



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