Bickering tears Nigeria’s AYC preps apart

As it has become a norm for infighting to rip apart Nigeria’s teams ahead of international competitions, Nigeria’s U-20 team has not been spared ahead of the African Youth Championship due in Kigali next year.
TIPPED: Samson Siasia, Underfire: Ladan Bosso.
TIPPED: Samson Siasia, Underfire: Ladan Bosso.

As it has become a norm for infighting to rip apart Nigeria’s teams ahead of international competitions, Nigeria’s U-20 team has not been spared ahead of the African Youth Championship due in Kigali next year.

Nigeria’s daily the Sun, has reported that the Flying Eagles head coach, Ladan Bosso, has slammed his assistant Ben Iroha, for abandoning the team’s preparations after he embarked on a trip to the United States of America to spend the Christmas holidays with his family.

Under fire Bosso, in an interview on a local station, said that he told his assistant that he wouldn’t be happy to see him traveling to the US as the team intensifies its preparations for the championship.

He said that Iroha should have considered the fact that he (Bosso) just returned from his own vacation for the Muslim festivals of Eid-el-Fitri and Eid-el-Kabir.

“I am not happy that Iroha abandoned Flying Eagles’ preparation and flew to United States to celebrate Christmas with his family,” Bosso began.

“Abandoning the team at this point means that Iroha does not bother much about the success of the team. I thought he should have shown more concern about the team, especially, as most of our foreign-based players would be joining us in training this time around.

“However, I would not want anybody to misunderstand my position. I am not saying that it’s wrong for Iroha to go and spend sometime with his family. No! Rather what I am saying is that this period is very critical in our preparation plan considering the fact that we did not do well at the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Championship in Delta State.”

Recently, raging Nigerian football fans called for the disbandment of the country’s U-20 football team after their elimination from the on going WAFU Under-20 Cup.

The fans believe the team that featured in the championship cannot go far in next month’s African Youth Championship (AYC).

After the team was beaten 4-3 on penalty by Senegal, most of the fans called for the disbandment of the team while others called for the overhauling of the technical crew.

However, Japan ‘93 U-17 World Cup winning coach, Fanny Amun remained adamant that Issah Ladan Bosso must be retained to lead the squad in January.

The Nigeria Football Association one-time acting secretary-general maintained in an interview with brilafm.net that it would be counter-productive to give Bosso the boot, with just few weeks to the competition.

“You people should stop calling for the sack of the coach. WAFU was a testing ground again for him. If there are deficiencies, let’s make him efficient.

“A coach in the national team has to be made efficient because, where he is deficient, things cannot go right and no one should blame him for it,” The Transformer of Talents stressed.

Following a string of unimpressive performances of the Flying Eagles, there are strong indications that Coach Samson Siasia may be drafted back to his old haunt, the Under-20 team, by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), to oversee the preparations at that level of the national teams.

The African Youth Championship is scheduled to take place from January, 18 to February, 1 2009.

According to the draw, Rwanda, Mali, Cameroon and Ghana are placed in Group A while Nigeria, Egypt South Africa and Ivory Coast will be squaring it out in Group B.

The Championship is held every two years with the top 4 teams qualifying for the Fifa World Youth Championship.

Until 1989, the African representatives were determined purely on a qualifying basis with no African title on the line. However, since 1991, there has been a qualifying stage followed by a final tournament played by eight teams in a chosen country.

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