BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
The Guardian on Tuesday (April 28) published a story in which one of the backroom staff of Super Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr, Tunde Adelakun reportedly explained the exclusion of players of the domestic league from the national team.
From the report, one can easily deduce that the man solely determines who gets called up into the Nigerian Super Eagles. Yet, there are no evidences to show that he had any coaching background or had played football at any level to the point that he could be assigned the role of determining what the composition of an aspiring global brand should be.
According to the report, the domestic league players are excluded from the Super Eagles because the UK-based Adelakun has no means of assessing the players online.
The report further quoted Adelakun as saying that it was difficult for him to monitor players in Nigerian league from his base in the United Kingdom because the games do not have visuals online that could enable him to critically study them before recommending players to Rohr.
“Scouting for players overseas is easy for me because there is a special software device I use to track Nigerian foreign-based players’ performance online.
“Any Nigerian player that is doing fine in Europe, if I get his contact and data, I use the device to watch his clips and study his performance.
“After this process, if I am satisfied, I will recommend to Rohr and he will also assess the player before taking the step to approach the player in his base.”
Could this be true? If yes, invitation to the Super Eagles has now been reduced to the convenience of Adelakun, whom Gernot Rohr himself has admitted was influential to his getting the Super Eagles’ job in 2016.
Except the statements attributed to him are either recanted or rebutted, the inference is that the Super Eagles have become the personal estate of Adelakun.
How did we sink to this level? What then is the role of the technical committee of the NFF or its Technical Department that is headed by Bitrus Bewarang who since the days of Clemence Westerhof has been linked with the Super Eagles?
By Adelakun’s reckoning, Nigerians have to be born abroad or venture abroad to get his attention and thus have realistic chances of playing for the Super Eagles.
He ascribes himself as the alpha and omega of our collective brand. Should this be so? Little wonder, the Technical Committee of the NFF has long been made redundant while the Technical Department only exists in the minds of few people.
The creed then in the national team will be: ‘Seek ye the attention of the sole administrator on technical matters, invitation to the Super Eagles shall then follow’.
From his personal blog, football was the last on the seven attributes he ascribed to his profile. He admitted never to have played football or getting any coaching training, yet he is Nigerian football lead brand’s scout!
In his personal blog visited as at 9.30pm on Wednesday 28 April 2020, he mentioned his involvement in the football industry as ranging from “football journalism to football marketing; football politics and lobbying to players’ welfare management, mentoring and coaching (at the highest levels of World Cup football).”
Very soon, lobbying to be included into the Super Eagles will soon be a lucrative business.
What exactly is the role of Tunde Adelakun in the NFF? He has been a recurring decimal since 2008 and was the one that suspected to have organized the aborted flight that was to ferry the Super Eagles from London to Johannesburg for the 2010 World Cup before the Federal Government saved the embarrassing situation and chattered another plane to convey the team.
Let someone save our Super Eagles!