“Some Immigrant Nigerian players won’t make their birth nation squads” – Amokachi
Legendary Nigerian forward, Daniel Amokachi infers that the Super Eagles did not qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals as they were using players who were rejected by other countries.
Nigeria’s dream of taking part in this year’s World Cup in Qatar were ended by their West African rivals Ghana, who defeated them based the away goals rule following a 1-1 draw on aggregate in the final round of qualifying.
Ola Aina, Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun and Ademola Lookman are some of the Europe-based stars who opted to play for Nigeria as dual-eligible players having been born abroad.
Amokachi, who won the African Cup of Nations title in 1994 and a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics with Nigeria during his playing days, has challenged the Nigerian Football Federation to return to developmental structures that saw the senior national team reach greater heights.
“Quality-wise we can’t take it away from Nigeria,” Amokachi said on Daily Post Nigeria.
“Every day Nigeria is blessed with one immigrant player who is playing out there and he’ll always come up and say I turned down my birth country, I want to play for Nigeria when their country of birth never looked for them. They won’t even make their birth nation squads,” Amokachi told SuperSport.
Amokachi went on to praise the late Stephen Keshi, who opted to use the players bred in Nigeria and went on to lift the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations title.
“Unfortunately for us Nigeria, we’ve thrown away our developmental structure which we had that made us win the 1996 Olympics gold medal, that made that generation so great,” he added.
“Stephen Keshi came into play and revived it and we saw how we won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.”