Flying Eagles coach, John Obuh
By Olawlae Ajimotokan
National U-20 Coach John Sam Obuh will appear before the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after he was accused of incorporating players who have once played at U-20 level into the Flying Eagles fold.
Obuh incurred the wrath of the federation after he drafted for the African U-20 Qualifying match against Tanzania four foreign-based professionals and some local-based stars, who he took to the last FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.
The Flying Eagles will visit Tanzania on July 28 for the first leg of the qualifiers which comes up after their friendly against Benin Republic billed for Saturday.
But NFF President Aminu Maigari, Monday, did not mince words when he rebuked Obuh and described his action as ‘recycling of players’.
Maigari said the coach’s action would be referred to the technical committee headed by Chris Green for broad deliberation.
He told reporters that Obuh is expected to meet the technical committee which has been mandated to review his programmes, including the list of players he is inviting.
While there may be no objection to Obuh’s call up of 17- year old Cedric Omoigui of Mallorca, what riled many was his decision to reintegrate an army of the old guard that he took to Colombia into his current U-20 plans.
The concerned foreign-based players are Olarenwaju Kayode of Lucerne, Switzerland, Egbedi Edafe, AGF Aarhus, Denmark, Aliyu Mohammed Goyi, Tavriya, Ukraine and Oliha Aigbe, Esperance, Tunisia. The rest are players who ply their trade in the local league. They are Abduljelel Ajagun of Dolphins, Chidi Osuchukwu and Bright Ejike of Sharks.
It seems Obuh is having a difficult working relation with the federation unlike during his spells in charge of the U-17 and U-20, when he led the Golden Eagles to the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2009 and took the Flying Eagles to the quarter finals at Colombia 2012.
The signs of crack were first seen after the poor showing of the Flying Eagles at an invitational tournament in South Africa, where they lost all their three matches to Ghana, Argentina and the host.