Nige­rian league’s qual­ity has dropped – Ba­bangida

The Punch - - SPORTS - Toni Ufoh

Ex- Su­per Ea­gles winger, Ti­jani Ba­bangida, has said that the qual­ity of Nige­ria’s do­mes­tic league has dropped over the years hence, the rea­son why it is dif­fi­cult to churn out world-class play­ers from the na­tion’s topflight.

The player whose pop­u­lar­ity soared with the na­tional team in the late 1990s and es­pe­cially at AF­CON 2000, co-hosted by the coun­try and Ghana, where he net­ted two goals in quick suc­ces­sion against South Africa is of the opin­ion that if our league is up to global stan­dards, the Su­per Ea­gles man­ager, Ger­not rohr, would have a blend of for­eign­based and lo­cal tal­ents in his squad.

Ba­bangida says, “I think the play­ers in the NPFL will have to con­vince rohr for their in­clu­sion in the Su­per Ea­gles.

“I think some of the best play­ers in the lo­cal league have not proved their worth to merit an in­vite to the

se­nior na­tional side.

“Rohr is the man in charge. He is the one who’s got to man­age the sit­u­a­tion ef­fec­tively.

“Though, we have to look at our league in order to en­cour­age our play­ers by in­clud­ing some of them who are per­form­ing op­ti­mally for more ex­po­sure.”

On his play­ing days with the Su­per Ea­gles, the for­mer Ajax winger said that ev­ery gen­er­a­tion of play­ers in the na­tion’s na­tional team were unique in their own way.

He says, “Ev­ery gen­er­a­tion is unique. We did our own thing. The present crop of play­ers are also do­ing theirs to­day. It’s a gen­er­a­tional thing.

“There was a time when peo­ple were talk­ing about the Ea­gles of 1980s. By the 1990s, they were talk­ing about our set of Ea­gles.

“Life to­day is dif­fer­ent from our time. The peo­ple of the 1990s en­joyed their foot­ball.

“Peo­ple of to­day are en­joy­ing their own foot­ball too.”

On Nige­ria’s foot­ball en­gage­ment in 2020, he said once the coach and play­ers are given the nec­es­sary sup­port and lo­gis­tics, noth­ing stops our teams from giv­ing their best.

“Once NFF gives the teams all they re­quire, then the play­ers and coaches will de­liver.”

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