A sports professional, Gboyega Olutade has described corruption as the major factor militating against all round development of sports in Nigeria.
Olutade, a seasoned football coach with years of playing and coaching experience garnered across six countries including USA, UAE, Bahrain, Ghana, Nigeria and Thailand, while speaking at a seminar organised on ways to develop football in the country lamented the standard of football and particularly, the low quality of the present crop of Nigerian footballers.
He also expressed his displeasure that local football in Nigeria was no longer on television.
“I will personally describe the league as a low quality one and absolutely, non-appealing. Factors to look at includes poor officiating, terrible stadia, pitches and facilities.
“And painfully, too, we don’t have our football on television. I doubt if any football league would succeed financially without television money. It is the oxygen that gives life to the game globally. Without it football will ‘die’. That’s what is happening now to Nigerian domestic football, ” the much sought tactician remarked.
He stressed that football in Nigeria needed serious overhauling for it to really develop in all aspects.
The football tactician also expressed concern on the quality of coaching and players in the local league.
“We need to improve also on the training and development of coaches, as well as, the reorientation of our referees and fans. All of these and more, would help attract sponsors to our football,” he said.
Olutade, then appealed for improvement in officiating by referees, an aspect of the game he described as crucial.
” Referees have to be neutral and fair in their officiating. Bribery would never help the League. This crazy factor isn’t helping clubs and players reach their potentials, as they already know what a game, mostly home matches would look like prior to the games.
“How do you then know a quality striker or determine a good defender, or even a good team, if their game results isn’t portraying their actual abilities? It’s a major factor that needs to be completed fixed, not necessarily perfect, but more than reasonable, ” he said.
The football expert however called for concerted efforts by concerned stakeholders to save the sports sector of the country from further collapse.