President of Nigeria Football Coaches Association (NFCA), Bitrus Bewarang, has expressed disappointment at recent comments credited to the President of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), Tade Azeez, describing indigenous coaches as businessmen who favoured only their players.
Bewarang also expressed his surprise that the referees’ president called for the engagement of a foreign coach for the Super Eagles at a time when Nigerians are advocating patronage of goods and services made in the country.
“The call for engagement of a foreign coach is coming at a time when top coaches in Nigeria are undergoing the Confederation of African Football ‘A’ License Coaching course.”
Bewarang who worked as assistant to Clemens Westerhof and Bonfrere Jo at the Super Eagles revealed why they succceded at the senior national team.
“The secret of their success, especially Westerhof, was that they had the luxury of time to prepare for the achievement they made. It is clear that foreign coaches are usually over prized and given the required tools and environment to operate while the contrary is usually the case with the indigenous coaches who are treated with ignominy,” observed Bewarang from his experience at the Super Eagles
He added that the indigenous coaches despite the poor working conditions they experience have exhibited high sense of patriotism and it is on record that they ranked among the most successful coaches globally.
He pointed at how the indigenous coaches who are the current handlers of the Golden Eaglets hold the five-time record wins of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
The NCFA president reminded critics that the Dream Team (Under-23) is preparing for the Rio Olympics under the tutelage of an indigenous coach.
Bewarang also mentioned the Flying Eagles who are rated among the best in the world.
“The senior women team, the Super Falcons, is the best in Africa and among the best in the world. The same goes for the Falconets and the Flamingoes. The national Under-15 team and the national beach football teams are all handled by indigenous coaches.
“Let me ask some questions: Who trained our past and present players like Stephen Keshi, Samson Siasia, Sunday Oliseh, Garba Lawal, Austn JJ Okocha, Tijani Babangida, Kanu Nwankwo, Joseph Yobo, John Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa, Vincent Enyeama and many more too numerous to mention, to stardom?” Bewarang asked.
He added that the Nigerian coaches will continue to give their best in any capacity they find themselves and also strive to improve with every opportunity they have.
The coaches’ boss counseled the referees’ chief to be focused and work on the improvement of his members who have been ridiculously excluded from virtually all the World Cups over the years.
“The referees’ president should be thinking on how to improve the performance of his members in officiating in the domestic league so that the various leagues will get better rather than dabbling into who handles the senior national team,” stressed Bewarang.
While asking for Tade to retract his unwarranted comments, Bewarang also asked the NRA president to tender an unreserved apology to the Nigerian coaches or else he may have sown the seed of discord that will aggravate the already charged football atmosphere.