Posted by By CHIMAOBI UCHENDU on
Former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West, blasts football Pastor Taribo West is sad, very sad that the system that exposed.....
Former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West, blasts football
Pastor Taribo West is sad, very sad that the system that exposed his football skills to the fancy of European clubs is gradually decaying to the proportion that cannot be managed by the league of those he described as half-baked administrators.
Speaking to Daily Sunsport recently, Taribo, who has retired from active football, said unless something urgent is done opportunities, which opened doors for people like himself might be permanently closed to the younger ones, who neither have god-fathers nor sponsors that might take them for skills tests with European clubs.
“I speak like one who, as a product of Nigerian League system, benefited immensely from the perfect organization of the League in times past...and if I fold my hands and watch it destroyed by a few individuals who neither have it’s development at heart nor have the interest of the players close to their heart.
“In times past I grew up thinking football. I walked up to the stadium and inquired how I would become a ball-boy, so that I could have access to the facilities and the players whom I always watched on television. The perfect system then allowed my passion to be translated into reality, because the administrators at the Sharks stadium were professionals that could read the burning desire in me.
“But today what do you see, hawks and hungry individuals sitting in offices, stealing money without the development of players, who are the main actors in any football organization.
“I still remember the products of the Nigerian League who were my idols. People like Benjy Nzeakor, Andrew Uwe and the rest of them that broke into the national team without travelling abroad, because the organization in the league gave a healthy competition to those that were ready to learn. I am sad about what our league has been reduced to. Nowadays there are no spectators to watch big teams. There are no big names in the league anymore because of incompetent hands occupying sensitive positions in our league system.
“I remember the first day of the current league season when I went to Port Harcourt to watch Dolphins and Bayelsa United. Even with the presence of the Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, and CAF President, Issa Hayatou, to commission the Astro turf pitch at the liberation stadium, you could count the number of spectators that came to cheer the two team. In fact, the away team had more supporters, a sign of the decay in the system.
“How can you tell me that it is not possible for an away team to pick the maximum points in any stadium in this country. Are we immune to development like our European counterparts that we emulate.
“If football officials would be sincere enough to themselves they would have set-up committees that should have unravelled the reason we don’t produce true champions at the end of every league, until the coming of Enyimba International of Aba who had saved us further embarrassment in the continent,” Taribo revealed.
The pastor, however, prophesied of greater days to come in the life of league football in Nigeria but said it would not come until the current reforms, which is taking place in other ministries and parastatals is extended to sports.
“Talents are waiting to be tapped in the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. The bad system, which had taken us 20 years backwards, will not allow them to be discovered. But I forsee a greater tomorrow for them because very soon I know that the searchlight the federal authorities are beaming on other sectors of our national life will be focused on sports, with special attention to the local league.
Then those that have no business with the league will give way to the dynamic leadership of able Nigerians who sleep, eat and play football.
“It is not late for us a nation because as it is said that ‘when one wakes up, then his morning starts’. But I will want to urge those concerned to start now, because it is morning,” he concluded.
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