Immediate past president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, has expressed disappointment over the outing of the Team Nigeria athletes, stressing that he was not impressed with the bronze medal from the U-23 national team.
Answering questions from his base in Bauchi State, the former Glass House boss said the Dream Team VI however deserved some commendations for saving the country from a disgraceful outing.
Asked if he was impressed with the U-23 performance in Rio, he replied: “Winning bronze medal is certainly not good enough for a country like Nigeria that has built a strong reputation. We all know that there are many things that went wrong starting from the pre-tournament preparations like the camping of the players to the lack of motivation.
Based on what we have read and seen in the media, the performance was not enough. It should not be in our character to accept and settle for bronze medal in a big tournament of this magnitude especially when it comes to sports and soccer which is source of unity for this country.
“However, I want to say that the Dream Team VI deserve commendations because despite all they passed through including locking them out of the hotel in Atlanta USA to the abandonment at the airport yet they did what they did to bail out the country,” he said.
Maigari equally commented on what had become a general impression that everything is going wrong with Nigerian football, admitting that he was as confused as every other soccer-loving Nigeria.
His words: “I am as confused as what is happening to Nigerian football just as every other Nigerian. It is really unfortunate that we found ourselves in this situation. I have tried to know if the administrators, players or even the media should be blamed.”
“I have tried to put what is happening now side by side with what happened during my regime when we participated and won almost virtually all the tournaments we participated. However, what is obvious is that the structures are not just there now.”
“We also have to admit that the quest for power is more pronounced now than before. Everybody is just desperate for power now and that is why there is power tussle. The option left for us is to put our heads together as stakeholders and football family to find the solution to the problems,” he noted.