A member of the Flying Eagles squad to the 1983 U-20 World Cup in Mexico, Tajudeen Disu in this interview with Augustine Akhilomen bares his thoughts on Super Eagles FIFA rankings, Pinnick’s controversial exit in CAF Executive, position on Rohr and way forward in Nigeria football. Excerpt.
The latest FIFA rankings saw the Super Eagles moved 33rd in the world and third in Africa. What is your reaction to this Sir?
That is a good one for our country football especially now that our administrators have problems of integrity in CAF and Nigeria.
Talking about integrity, was that the reason why NFF president, Amaju Pinnick was removed from CAF Executive committee?
Yes now, the man and most of his top board members has integrity problems, this people don’t have genuine love for Nigeria football but the money they will make, it is so sad that Nigeria system allows this type of people to dominate, Nigeria is a country where excellence is rubbish and mediocrity is celebrated, we love square begs in round holes and is not the best. The standard of the game is gone done in Nigeria. Corrupt and politics are the bane of Nigeria sports, especially football. We need to change the system.
How best can we change the system, Sir?
Put round pegs in round holes, we should leave politics and corruptions out of our sports. Technocrats and real professionals should run our sports not politicians or fraudsters.
Talking about technocrats, Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung won’t be making a return as a minister after President Muhammadu Buhari failed to include his name in his ministerial list. What is your reaction to this?
Well, I felt he should be returned because of the clean up which he is doing in NFF, we need that clean up to get fraud, corrupt and cabals out off NFF. If he is not returned which I still think he can still be part of the 10 supplementary lists but if not then we need Technocrat/professionals.
In that regard, who best suit the seat of technocrats in your own view, Sir?
People like Segun Odegbami, Adokie Amesimeka, Felix Owolabi, and host of others who have played the game and educated, we have sound and qualified ex-footballers.
Does that mean that amongst all the names in the ministerial list, known could push the country’s football forward?
Yes, my brother, we need people like this to lead our sports, we have so many of them who can do a good job but they won’t give them, I hope they do. Look at the two countries that played the AFCON finals, they were coach by their ex-internationals.
Back to the Super Eagles. What’s your general views of the team performance at the Nations Cup?
I think they gave their best, that was the best they can achieve at this stage. Considering the fact that the coach said the target given to him was semi-final state, what a tragedy, how can you set up a semi-final stage, I think the management should be held responsible for that, the NFF CHAIRMAN and his board members should be held accountable for that.
Some football Pundits have been blaming our goalkeeping department for Nigeria’s failure at AFCON. Are you in support of their view?
No, obviously that goalkeeper is not the best we can get, there lots of politics and sentiment going on in the national camp.
You mean the selection of Akpeyi, Uzoho, and Ezenwa was not based on merit?
We need to investigate the NFF activities very well not the coaches or players.
But you saw the recent charges against them from EFCC and PTFl.And what recently happened to Pinnick during the AFCON in Egypt. The leadership of the present NFF is the most Corrupt NFF board since the inception of NFA/NFF.
But since there is no strong evidence (s) yet to criminalize them, don’t you think it will be wrong to tag them corrupt?
Hmmmmmmmmmm…The truth will soon prevail. The truth has already established itself with the sack of Pinnick.
But Pinnick stated that his tenure has expired and not that he was sacked?
He was fucking sacked, he can continue deceiving his loyalist and those once will continue spreading fake news on his behalf. Some media those the truth but don’t want to say it because they are a loyalist of Amaju Pinnick. Some media editors know the truth but don’t want to say it because the loyal to Pinnick.I can understand.
On a lighter note, do you think Rohr worth to be Super Eagles coach based on bis achievements with the team?
I don’t blame the coach for anything but the management because they gave a target of semi-finals to the coaches so is to blame.
In that case, do you support the idea that Rohr should be sacked or retain?
Sack both the NFF board and Rohr, enough is enough. We need brand new administrators and Nigerian coaches like the two finalists in the last NATION’s Cup does. We need brand new administrators and Nigeria coaches as the two finalist does.
Who do you suggest to be Super Eagles manager?
We av good managers and coaches in Nigeria, let them look around am sure they will find.
So you are in support of indigenous coaches?
100 percent in support.
They are better, we have some trusted coaches and administrators in Nigeria but NFF won’t give them a chance because of the money they make from bringing foreign unqualified coaches.
Is Rohr better than Samson Siasia, late Steven Keshi, late Shaibu Amadu, Austin Aguavon, Dan Omokachi, etc. We have good coaches in Nigeria but needs encouragement.
Interview Extract from Thepledge’s