The 82-year old veteran football coach who has been lauded by many as ‘Iconic’ amongst Nigerian coaches was interviewed over the state of the Nigerian football on Saturday, October 3rd, 2020 by BCOS television to commemorate the 60th year independence of Nigeria.
Chief Festus ‘Adegboye’ Onigbinde, the first indigenous Nigerian coach was appointed in 1983 where he coached the national team and took them into finals in the African cup of nations where they lost to Cameroon.
He categorically stressed the importance of developing young talents and slammed the overdependence on foreign players. ‘Nigerian football is dead, we are not developing football at all’ he said. ‘ We are dependent almost entirely on foreign based players. How is harmonization of the national team possible when all we do is to bring different players with different philosophies from different teams?’ He probed.
Onigbinde also decried the non existence of a football club in Nigeria. ‘We don’t have a football club in Nigeria, the governing bodies are not democratically elected according to the FIFA statutes. What we had are government owned clubs and FIFA does not have any business with that’ He continued.
He also pointed out the need to evolve a community owned club where there would be a sense of ownership by the masses to engender more participations nationally in sports.
When asked the possible solutions to all these protruding problems ravaging sporting activities in Nigeria, he replied: ‘The only problem we face currently is the will to do it right, if you do it right, you’d get it right’ Remarked Chief Onigbinde.