Nigeria Football Federation President, Ibrahim Gusau has said that Nigerian players born abroad don’t have the mentality to play African football.
Sequel to this, the Zamfara-born football administrator said the federation will reduce the number of players born and bred abroad that are currently playing for the Super Eagles.
The former Chairman of Chairmen in an interview with TribuneSports however admitted that we can not rely on home-based players to return Nigeria to the global map in the sport.
“We so much rely on the foreign players. We have to because you and I know that our league is not where it ought to be. So, we cannot rely on players that one is not sure of and one can only be sure of players you see performing in his club week in and week out.
“I have been trying to see how they (coaches) can get some players from the domestic league but there are arguments they put on the table that one cannot dispute. They say if they invite a home-based player for an international match and he does well, a few months later he would become a foreign player. Then start searching for another one to fit in, who will also travel abroad after two or three matches.
“As for me, what to do is try and see how we can reduce the higher number of the Nigerian born in diaspora players in the team. I am not saying they’re not Nigerians nor saying they’re not good enough but their mentality is not good for African football. And most of the matches we played are in Africa. At the global level, we only go for tournaments or friendly matches. But all our qualifiers are played within Africa.
“Most of these teams out of 54 countries in Africa, almost 46 countries use the bulk of African players. So many of them use players that are used to African football with the right mentality of African football. So, if we bring in players born abroad without an African mentality, there will be problems. But we don’t have a problem with players who are born here and are playing in Europe because they started here.” he concluded.
Recall that Super Eagles lost the 2022 FIFA World Cup ticket to Ghana in Abuja with players born abroad such as; Olaoluwa Aina, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Ademola Lookman, Joe Aribo in the starting line up, while Emmanuel Dennis and Calvin Bassey had their first start for Super Eagles in the Second leg of the qualifier