I read a news story online where former Super Eagles forward and assistant coach in Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, Daniel Amokachi was quoted as saying he was shocked and was not aware that Brown Ideye wasn’t included in the final list of players for the tournament.
Amokachi was speaking on the need for Gernot Rohr to do a thorough job while compiling his list for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup. Da Bull as he is fondly called from his playing days added that a coach should be separated from an agent but in a situation whereby a coach is also an agent, then, it becomes very difficult to avoid what happened in the case of Ideye.
Amo went further to add that, he was not only shocked by the exclusion of Ideye from the World Cup squad but was surprised by the inclusion of some players he claimd he doesn’t even know.
Amokachi’s words, “Brown for me was one player that I regret that we did not take to the World Cup in 2014.
“Hundred percent I didn’t know how he didn’t make that list, I never saw it coming that he didn’t make the list till when the list came out and we found out.
“I think I probably had a lot of fights with some people that I shouldn’t have, but it happened because I saw no reason why such a player should be left out.
“We ended up going to the World Cup with players that even me I don’t even know.
“I think it is very tough if a coach is already an agent. It is very, very difficult, and that is why I always say you cannot be a coach and be an agent at the same time.
“When the World Cup comes around, you always have a lot of new players showing up. Players who will decide that they are Nigerians and bring confusion into the team.
“When you find yourself in that situation, you try to advise, because you have agents that will be calling left, right and centre.
“If a coach is an agent, he will fall a victim too. Those are things that we really really need to avoid. There is no room to be trying new players.
“If the coach is a hundred-percent focused as a coach then he needs the best players in the team because he needs results. However, if he is an agent and he has people around him that are agents then there is an issue.
“That is what is happening with our national team today. There are a lot of agents around them and that is probably going to be the only hiccup that the coach will have.”
The simple but logical interpretation to this statement is that the head coach of the team to Brazil 2014 World Cup, Late Stephen Okechukwu Keshi arbitrarily picked the 23-man squad without consulting or seeking inputs from his assistants or backroom staff. Logically too, the statement insinuated that the inability of the team to do better than, it did in the tournament was attributable to the team selection.
Sadly, former Head of the Technical Committee of the NFF, Barr. Chris Green in the story did exonerate his committee from being part of drawing up the list. According to the report, he said, if, the backroom staff of Keshi claimed not be part of the list, was it his committee that would be in the know?
I have nothing against Amokachi for expressing his view. It is his inalienable right to do so. But I sincerely wonder why this reaction or do I say comment is coming at this point especially as Keshi can’t defend himself now and there is none to speak for him on the issue. I also wonder what Amo wants to achieve with this statement. And if the statement is old, I wonder what the report plans to achieve in the present situation.
It hurts to observe that none of Keshi’s backroom staff spoke, condemned or exonerated himself from the compilation of the list of the triumphant squad of South Africa 2013 AFCON 2013. Everyone was part of the victory including the NFF that was busy shopping for Keshi’s replacement and also packing it’s bags to return home while the tourney was midway. Everyone took one credit or the other for the success of the team. But now we here that Keshi alone drew the list for Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup. I dare ask, if the Super Eagles had gotten to the semi-final stage of that tournament, won’t everyone claim to have recommended one player or the other to him?
My Bible tells me that, I should not judge the dead. I don’t know what other people’s Holy books tell them. My Bible also tells me that we should allow the dead to rest according to the will of Almighty God. I wonder if this report or story or comment or statement would allow Keshi full rest in the great beyond.
I make bold to say that, Keshi is one football personality from our clime that has been so maligned and poorly treated even in death. Needless discussing or mentioning the manner his burial was handled by the same people he so served from his youthful days till death.
I should prefer or advice Amokachi to limit his comment on supporting and suggesting the best means for Rohr to pick his 23-man squad for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup and leave out the issue he discussed and presented in the manner it was done. It sends a wrong signal which may make Keshi cry from the grave.
LET ME REST IN PEACE.
By Desmond Ekwueme