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Former Shooting Stars and Super Eagles player, Pascal blasts fire-stoking ex-internationals

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Former Super Eagles’ star Patrick Pascal has admonished a few of his fellow ex-international players who have nothing doing other than gaslighting football’s political space, to get busy with more positive and worthy endeavours.

Speaking on telephone from his Bauchi base on Wednesday, Pascal a former player of the Shooting Stars of Ibadan who is also the Chairman of Bauchi State Football Association, charged this brand of ex-internationals to imbibe the culture of hard work, and to actively develop themselves and develop the social quotient and emotional intelligence to competently challenge the part of the system they have issues with, not engage in empty rabble-rousing.

“We need to sit down and reflect hard on what we actually want to pursue, cogitate and intelligently seek those things, once they are noble and presentable.

“What I see presently is just silly moves and talks to create confusion that benefits no one. If you are actually interested in helping the system, building the system and making it more robust in the interest of all, why stoke fire that could potentially burn everything down?

“If you want to be an administrator, why not take the pain to study the Statutes and see how you can come inside and gradually work your way up?

“If you want to be a coach, why not take the patience to earn your coaching badges and then seek employment even if from club level?

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“I admire people like Imama Amapakabo, Kennedy Boboye, Emmanuel Amuneke and Finidi George for the steps they have taken.

“Even if you want to be a player-manager, the route is clearly defined. So, why the need to cause trouble and chaos if you actually mean well?”

Pascal is at sea on what any clear-thinking ex-international could have against an Amaju Pinnick-NFF that continues to break new grounds in attraction of corporate partnerships, international football politics, organizational branding, international teams’ travels and accommodation, support for women’s football, welfare for and recognition and honour of former players, office infrastructure for FAs across the States of the federation and many more.

“We have an NFF Board that is responsive and responsible, transparent and accountable. We have people who have the interest of the game at heart and who can knock at mighty doors and they get the ears of those who make big political decisions.

“We should support them and not make moves that will endanger the football environment and the industry itself.

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“Look at it this way: for so many years now, we have been trying to get the recognition of FIFPRO so that our players can truly have a sense of belonging. No way.

“Now, we have someone in FIFA and CAF Executive Committees who cares about our case and is ready to get us back into FIFPRO.

“I was so happy seeing the President of Players’ Union, Tijjani Babangida being introduced to the CAF President in Cameroon some weeks ago. We didn’t get such recognition and honour in the past.

“Instead of us to come together, keep a calm head and work with such a man, some of us are busy writing meaningless and odious petitions all over the place. That is a total lack of focus and ambition.”   

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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