Former board member and secretary-general of Nigeria Football Association, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi has predicted that a day is coming when a player in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) will be transferred to a club in Europe for $40m.
Ogunjobi, who was also a top defender with then IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan in his heyday, gave this prediction during the draw ceremony of LEG Lagos Challenge, but equally pointed out that stars of the domestic league should not be a in hurry to go abroad, which he called ‘microwaving of players.’
While speaking under the topic ‘Optimising The Values of Nigerian Footballers For Global Competitiveness,’ Ogunjobi further stated that any player who wants to make it big must have total passion for the game and should get basic education as a foundation.
He stated in part: “Football is like life. The individual has a key role to play, because it entails a lot of passion for the game and the ability to endure any challenge that comes his way.
“There must be personal interest to make any ray of hope become one of glory. That personal interest must include the willingness to have formal education and ability of the young footballer to overcome social vices and concentrate on playing.
“There is also a key part that administrators and government must play. We must focus on the grassroots to optimize our potentials.
“Football is big business, and success in it comes with special planning over a long period of time. We should not be in any hurry to succeed or achieve.
“As we look at these, we must make a change to existing vices and setbacks affecting football in the country. We must find the panacea for revival and success and uphold them.
“Among these are an improved league. I foresee a situation in which a player will move to Europe from one of the Nigerian league clubs for $40m, but that depends on many other factors.
“We need to improve the level of officiating, we need to evolve a Nigerian style of play, we must get own our traditional philosophy. What is our football philosophy?
“We should stop microwaving players abroad. Let the players be matured in the league and experienced enough before going abroad.
“They must have proper education in all aspects of the game, especially in all football rules and regulations. They must not be half baked players, who end up failing in Europe.”