Football Development in Nigeria: Successes & Challenges
Danesius Marteh of UNMIL Radio
Location: Monrovia, Liberia
CUE: Like many nations, football is Nigeria’s national sport. The national team, known as the Super Eagles, is regarded as one of the strongest in Africa. Their golden era was in the 90s when they dominated world and African football headlines. But the team has struggled to relive that golden era. Twenty Ten All Star Danesius Marteh spent a week in Lagos trying to find out what has happened to football development in Nigeira.
FX 1: Nigeria national anthem for 00:06” (play, fade and hold under voice)
Link 1: The national anthem of the Super Eagles, which most fans are now referring to as the Super Chickens due to poor performances at all levels. Nigeria’s last success at senior level was in 1994 when they won the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia. Since then, the team has been to only one Nations Cup final in 2000 when they hosted the competition. Former international player Victor Ikpeba, who was part of the Nations Cup winning squad, admits that there’s a problem with Nigerian football development:
Clip 1: Victor Ikpeba –00:08 seconds
“We have difficult…..Nigerian football”
Link 2: Nigerian sports journalist Godwin Enakhene works as a TV and radio sports presenter in Lagos. He believes nothing is wrong with football in Nigeria.
Clip 2: Godwin Enakhena –00:16 seconds
“People come……….will rise again”
FX 2: Sound of moving vehicles 00:03” (play, fade and hold under voice)
Link 3: Driving around Lagos, children and adults can be seen playing football at established and make-shift pitches. With closed to 10 million people in Lagos, talents are bound to be everywhere. And do these talents have the proper facilities to develop them in Lagos or Nigeria. Olabee Adefaka works as a coach at the Pepsi Football Academy:
Clip 3: Coach Olabee Adefaka –00:13 seconds
“We have a………..youth players”
Link 4: Former Nigerian 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Victor Ikpeba believes the problem is much more technical than facilities.
Clip 4: Victor on Academy –00:14 seconds
“You have academy…….play football”
Link 5: So with talents and structures available then what is the problem contributing to the downward trend of football in Nigeria? Jeday Johnson, a lecturer at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, believes the problem with Nigerian football is down to administration.
Clip 5: JEDJAY on administration –00:16 seconds
“Football is like…….the doldrums”.
Link 6: Sports Analyst Jeday Johnson. With over 150 million people and in a land where football is the only mass sport, it would be strange if Nigeria do not produce plenty of players. Football is a way-out and youngsters are well aware of it. And they already want to become big players like Blessing Adedokumbo.
Clip 6: Blessing Adedokumbo – OO:02 seconds
“I want….Christian Ronaldo”
Link 7: Until all is well, children like Blessing may not realize their dream ambitions. But whatever the situation, Nigerians will always want to stand-up for their national teams as was the situation when the team won the U-17 World Cup in South Korea in September 2007. Danesius Marteh, Twenty Ten Project, Lagos, Nigeria
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