MEMBERS of the Nigerian Football Federation’s (NFF) technical committee have resigned en-mass in response to the recent stinging criticism they received from Super Eagles head coach Sunday Oliseh who called several of them insane.
Oliseh has come under fierce criticism lately after the home-based Eagles crashed out of the Championship of African Nations (Chan) tournament recently held in Rwanda in the group stages. He subsequently hit back at his critics in a Youtube video, calling them insane for calling for his sacking, saying Chan was not a major priority.
Following Oliseh’s surprise outburst, football fans have criticised him further, saying he ought to have shown more restraint and accept criticism in good faith. In response, Oliseh has accepted his error and written a letter of apology to the NFF, which chairman Amaju Pinnick has received.
However, members of the technical committee, who Oliseh appeared to have been referring to in his Youtube have decided they will no longer work with him. All of them former Super Eagles, members of the technical committee who have resigned their appointments include Christian Chukwu, Paul Bassey, Victor Ikpeba, Mutiu Adepoju and Garba Lawal.
They apparently were unhappy about what they described as the mishandling of the Sunday Oliseh’s case by the NFF president Amaju Pinnick. After Oliseh’s outburst, the NFF had referred the case to the technical committee to recommend penalties to be meted out to the loquacious coach.
After exhaustive deliberations and arriving at a decision, the committee was apparently disappointed that Mr Pinnick jettisoned their report. Mr Pinnick took the matter to the youth and sports minister Solomon Dalung, who saved the embattled coach by asking for a second chance for him.
One committee source said: “The committee recommended for his outright dismissal after they agreed that he had violated his contract.”
Chris Green, the chairman of the technical committee, confirmed the development but said that he was working hard to ensure that the wise men rescind their decisions. He added: “It is true that they are not keen to work again but I am prevailing on them to think twice because of their love and passion for the game and patriotism for the country.
“They cannot be treated with levity. They are heavyweights on their own and they are not paid a dime for their services.”
Mr Green conceded that the technical committee has not had a smooth relationship with Oliseh after the coach said he had nothing to do with them when they queried him following a dismal outing in Chan. One member who was visibly angry with the handling of the Oliseh case said that the coach would mess up Mr Pinnick.
“If they fail to take punitive action on him, he’ll mess them up. The problem is with Amaju Pinnick because he wants to please everybody. They gave Oliseh the job on sentiment and that is the result. As for me, I can’t stay to watch him insult the technical committee as we all played for this country and deserve respect,” he added.