John Obuh Blames NFF For Peseiro’s Failure To Use Home-Based Players

Former Golden Eaglets coach, John Obuh has asserted that the Nigeria Football Federation purposefully left home-based players off the Super Eagles sqaud.

The Super Eagles had already qualified for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with one game remaining against Sao Tome and Principe in September, but head coach Jose Peseiro shut the door on the home-based players when he said he would stick with his winning team.

The team that defeated Sierra Leone in Liberia last Sunday included four players from the Nigerian Professional Football League, but they were not given the chance to play. They remained unused substitutes in the encounter.

After the 3-2 triumph over the Leone Stars, coach Peseiro said, “Against Sao Tome, of course, we have to create more dynamics and organization. If I change, how can I improve the team for AFCON? However, the door of the Super Eagles is open for everybody.”

In reaction to coach Peseiro’s comment, John Obuh insisted that the Portuguese tactician should not be blamed for not giving home-based players a chance.

“Coaches work under a contract and their comments depend on what is in their contracts. As far as I am concerned, what Peseiro said was professional language,” Obuh told the Punch.

“He said what needed to be said to move ahead and if it was not supposed to be, his contract would have guided him. The big question is, can he succeed using the home-based players if they force him to use them?

“The late Stephen Keshi did it (using home-based players) and he succeeded, but that doesn’t mean another person will achieve that, and as long as it is not included in his contract, we should allow him to work according to his contract. If we are no longer satisfied, then we bring in our local coaches to work with the Super Eagles. For now, they should allow him to do his job.”

John Obuh added, “If the home-based players are angry, then they have to be angry with the federation and not with the coach. They should be angry with the people that employed him and did not put in his contract the number of local players that he is supposed to invite at any point in time. As long as that is not in his contract, the coach has the right to do what he wants.

“If the players have anybody to blame, it is the federation and not the coach because I remember when I was preparing the youth team for the second time, the condition that was given to me indicated that if I have any player still eligible to play at the World Cup twice, I should invite them if I wished. When Nigerians were shouting that I was recycling the players that I had, I didn’t pay much attention because it was in the contract that I signed with the federation.

“If the federation wants to help the local players, they should include it in the contracts of expatriates, that they must have at least five local players invited and three playing in the team. There is no way you cannot get good results having three local players alongside the overseas-based players.”