Oliseh fears for Nigerian football
Former Nigeria international Sunday Oliseh believes significant change is needed in order for the Super Eagles’ glory days to return.
The Super Eagles have endured a tough year in which they failed to qualify for January’s Africa Cup of Nations as the current champions, while coach Stephen Keshi has been in and out of his job.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Oliseh said: “We have got technical problems and administrative problems – it is too much for one nation, even if you are Nigeria.
“At the moment it is bleak. We need to face up to the job and get organised.”
The former Borussia Dortmund defensive midfielder was a part of a successful Nigeria side in the 1990s which won AFCON 1994, before winning Olympic gold two years later, plus two World Cup appearances in 1994 and 1998.
However, the ‘golden generation’ was largely down to the country’s domestic leagues, according to the 40-year-old.
“During the 1990s a lot of the players were products of the Nigerian league. Those who were playing in Europe had only left two or three years before. Myself, I had moved to Europe only four years before the 1994 World Cup.
“It was not as if it was Europe that made us – the Nigerian league produced us, it was so competitive then, it was viable and credible.
“But now our attention is more focused on the national team and we have neglected the domestic league, that is the major problem in Nigerian football.”
Oliseh also slammed the Nigeria Football Federation’s troubles, which has subsequently seen Nigeria given a FIFA ban for governmental interference, as Nigeria continue to struggle off-field also.
“It is great that Nigeria are passionate about football, that they have opinions like a coach. But in reality, everybody thinks they know football – not because they play football but because they know football. It doesn’t work like that.”