Former Nigeria international Taribo West says that the present crisis in the ranks of the Nigeria Football Federation should be stopped as soon as possible before it wrecks the country’s national teams.
The federation has been enmeshed in a crisis of power tussle in recent times between the reinstated president Aminu Maigari and his first vice president Mike Umeh, who acted in the capacity of president before Maigari’s reinstatement on August 15.
As the September 6 date of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the Nigeria and Congo draw nearer, Taribo believes that the failure by the members of the glass house to nip the crisis in the bud could negatively affect the Super Eagles’ chances in the qualifiers.
“This crisis, if not stopped as quickly as possible will affect the team in the qualifiers,” Taribo told our correspondent.
“The main thing that ought to be done would be left undone and we all can see it now.”
The former Internazionale Milan full back also believe that the NFF does not need to hire an interim coach for the Eagles but should rather fast-track the contract talk between them and Stephen Keshi.
Keshi has been out of contract with the federation since Nigeria’s ouster in the second round of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The tactician is said to be requesting for a rolling contract worth N15m every month while the NFF is talking of a four-year contract at the sum of N5m which he earned in the last contract.
As the talks between both parties drag along, the members of the glass house had proposed the hiring of a temporary coach to see the team through the qualifiers against Congo and South Africa but Taribo said that the move is unnecessary and amounts to the non-appreciation of the country’s best brains.
“This madness by the NFF must stop,” Taribo said.
“The madness in terms of not celebrating what is ours should stop. What Keshi is demanding is not too much for them to pay. How much is $10,000 that they can’t pay him?
“I played under the foreign coaches that they hired then; Thijs Libregts and Bora Milutinovic, who did not achieve what Keshi has achieved. He took us to the second round of the World Cup which only one foreign coach, Westerhoff, achieved.
“So the money he is asking for is not too much and the idea of hiring an interim coach is not welcome at all and should be thrown aside.
“They should talk to him and let him continue the work he had started with the team and if they know that they don’t want him again, they should let him go and hire another full time coach who will handle the team.
“They should stop wasting time and get into some action.”
The former Julius Berger ace however commended the NFF president adding that he had achieved a little in the annals of the country’s football.
“There is nobody who has sat in that office and will say he is completely clean but Maigari has tried in the time he has so far spent in the glass house.
“Now, we have more of ex-internationals in the running of football than before. People like Ugbade, Garba Lawal, Victor Ikpeba, Stephen Keshi , Samson Siasia and others now talk about how our football is run and they are trying, so he should be commended for that,” the former Kaiserslautern defender said.
Taribo added that the team needed to play a few friendly matches before the September encounters to bring some level of cohesion into the team.
“If they can solve their problem on time, they should organise some small friendly matches for the team as it will help them to learn one another’s playing style before the qualifiers,” he added.