Flying Eagles elimination by Korea from the U20 World Cup has been described as shocking and huge setback for age-grade football in Nigeria, according to FCT FA chairman Adam Mouktar Mohammed.
Nigeria crashed out of Argentina 2023 no thanks to an extra-time goal.
The Golden Eaglets have failed to qualify for the 2023 FIFA U17 World Cup, while the U23s did not advance to the U23 AFCON.
Mouktar Mohammed, who is a member of the NFF youth task force, admitted he was still in shock at the team’s loss said that there was an urgent need to go back to the drawing board.
”We need to quickly find solutions to the problems bedeviling our age-grade teams,” declared the FCT FA boss.
“This is a huge setback and we have been wondering what happened to the team we saw against Argentina in the Round of 16.”
He stated that he usually got worried when a Nigerian team lose like this because a generation of players always get lost and do not get to be seen again.
“We need to go back to the drawing board. Definitely our entire football architecture is faulty and needs a reset!,” he urged.
“We have lost out at all levels in all competitions male and female.”
He said that there was a need for a critical assessment and explanations were necessary when things are not going well.
The FCT FA Chairman said it was not fair to Nigerian fans when issues are swept under the carpet.
“Don’t get me wrong, I am not being critical. Naturally football is a game you either win or lose,” hesaid.
“But when it’s continuous and we brush it aside and give excuses with no assessment and explanation, then we are not fair to the fans and the nation.
“What I am saying is that, there is a bigger, deeper problem that needs to be addressed before we see new system in the development of our players, coaches, referees, and so on.”
Mohammed however noted that the problem was beyond the committee which was put in place in 2022.
The FCT FA chairman explained that there was a need to set up key performance indicators (KPIs) at all levels to monitor and evaluate development structures nationally.
“The problem is beyond an ad hoc committee with very limited powers,” he insisted.
“Besides, when the committee came into being, the national teams were already far in preparations and qualifiers, and so on.
“It was just set up to add support. But what I am saying goes beyond the present. It’s a collapse in development structures nationally.
“We are Nigeria, the giants of Africa. So, we must always set the bar high and aim for success at all times.
“We must set KPIs at all levels to monitor and evaluate.
“You can see smaller nations like Senegal and Morocco enjoying more success than us at all levels.
“They are implementing a road map and have the backing of government and the private sector.”