Ex-international, Victor Ikpeba, has berated Nigerian players, saying they are pursuing money at the expense of the advancement in their football career.
The 1997 African Footballer of the Year told our correspondent in Lagos on Tuesday that the players’ focus on money had led to the dearth of quality performances in the Super Eagles.
He said, “The way forward now is to have a strong local league. We’re no longer exporting good players to clubs in Europe like we did in the 1990s. We don’t have players playing well in top clubs in Europe. When we have a good domestic league like what they have in South Africa, some of our good players will not need to go abroad. They will stay back home because they are well paid and catered for.
“It’s just shambolic the way Nigerian players are rushing to go and play for just any club abroad. Some of the clubs they to go to are poor quality clubs in leagues that are not well known.
“They go to countries like Ukraine, Bangladesh, Cyprus, and so on, all for money. What Nigerian players are pursuing now is money. They are not looking for ways to better their career. They don’t have ambition to play for big clubs.”
Despite commending the home-based Eagles for their performance when they played Cote d’Ivoire in a friendly match in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, Ikpeba dismissed suggestions that the Super Eagles should be rebuilt with the home-based boys.
“Don’t be deceived by their performance in the friendly match. They played against a Cote d’Ivoire side that just wanted to have match fitness. They didn’t give the game their 100 per cent. Nobody wants to get injured few days to a major tournament. The home-based Eagles played to their strength,” he said.