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‘Don’t Join Mushroom Clubs In Europe’- Pinnick Warns NPFL Players

‘Don’t Join Mushroom Clubs In Europe’-   Pinnick Warns NPFL Players

President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Melvin Pinnick has appealed to players in the Nigeria Professional Football League to stop moving to obscure leagues in Europe.

In a bid to better their lives, players in the Nigerian top-flight have moved to countries like Vietnam, India, Uzbeskistan and other lesser known European countries.

The careers of some of them have been truncated by these wrong choices.

Read Also: BELOW AVERAGE: Super Eagles’ Rating Vs Mexico

Pinnick has however promised to help the players join top clubs in Europe.

“If you’re living in Nigeria, you’re going to a top club. Villarreal, Valencia, Lille, and all those proud footballing clubs and not to one mushroom club that you’re better off,” he said as quoted by Brila.net.

“I want to expose you, people, to the highest levels so when you’re going to a foreign club, and we won’t allow any agent take you to countries like Cyprus, Belarus, etc., no, never we won’t allow it and I will make sure no transfer is issued on situations like that.”

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  • Dr Banks 3 years ago

    Now the real motive for this clamour for NPFL players in SE is coming out clearly, I can’t believe that our leaders are jettisoning the brand name SUPER EAGLES OF NIGERIA for short term personal financial gains while the country football fans suffer undue heartbreak following strings of embarrassing results.

    And I use to respect this man Pinnick before now, never knew he could be this disillusioned as to think that mere exposure of non-talented and poorly trained players will not make them suitable to so called big teams like Real Madrid, Arsenal, Barca, Man City, Liverpool, Lille, Villarreal etc. as he mentioned. They can only make up as training materials in the Team’s U-23 or loaned to those obscure leagues which they don’t want to start with. It is not by accident that they are currently stocked in NPFL, Golden fish has no hiding place, if they were good enough, they would’ve been spotted before they turned 20 and get good offers in Europe or made our Age grade National team where they will be further exposed.

    A case in point is Osimhen and Terrem, Terrem was initially in the 2015 Golden eaglet while Osimhen was unknown at that time but someone spotted his talent, called up Amunike and the rest is history. Terrem lost out of the team but as his talents is not in Doubt, he went on to prove himself in a small league and in no time found himself in the top 5 league doing absolutely well.

    Our dear SE should not be used as exposure vehicle for the benefit of theses agents, rather improve our Age-grade and CHAN teams to ensure they qualify for major tournaments where these players will be noticed better. Any player that is above 23 yrs of age and not deemed good enough for these teams has no business going to Europe unless he wants to be a ball boy for his team.

    Pinnick………..please focus on developing our league, ensure proper programs for U-15, U-17, U-20, U-23 and CHAN Eagles and automatically there’ll be progress and our dear SE will have a large pool of Pristine talents to pick from. The world conquering 2013 and 2015 Golden Eaglets benefitted immensely from such programs where we started assembling the Iheanachos right from the U-13 WHERE THEY WERE TRAINED ALL THE RUDIMENTS OF SOCCER before they progressed into the U-17, the these set of U-13 boys makes up the bulk of the 2013 and 2015 glorious boys that we are enjoying the dividends in the SE today. Posterity shall judge you rightly Pinnick because your regime benefitted from the foundation laid down for you from your predecessor while you are not making any tangible effort to leave any legacy behind for the upcoming NFF President. It has never happened before that Nigeria will fail to qualify for ALL AGE GRADE World championships from U-17 to Olympic U-23 except during the time we were banned.

    • My brother what did Pinnick said that warrant all that you are saying now, is it okay for players to move from our leagues to Sudan , India, Malaysia etc It is true that agents have contributed a great deal to the destruction of both our players and the local league, Year after year you find our highest goal scorers in our leagues and any player that shows some flashes are snapped up by these HULKS masquerading as agents then sold to some unknown clubsides in countries you will be shocked to know that our players go to and they tie them to slave contracts . As for the development of our league, no amount of investment can develop our league without first developing our grassroot. It is not the job of Amaju Pinnick to develop football in Nigeria there is a department of youth/sports development at the Federal/State Ministry of sports. The League has it’s management team, Amaju do not have the powers to tell them what to do, there was a time when one Chief from Benin City was the Chairman of the Nigeria League Management team, they were able to secure a lucrative sponsorship for the league, so the present team can do the same or even better while the school/grassroot football is being resuscitated by the ministry. Our coaches needs massive training too that i know Pinnick can handle.

  • Ikeben 3 years ago

    Mr Pinnick needs to understand that, top players attract top clubs. And Top Leagues produce top Players. So he and the Minister of Sports should forget this plans of marketing our players abroad but rather concentrate on Making our league a Top League in Africa. That is how to raise the standard of the game in the country.

  • Chima E Samuels 3 years ago

    Egunje lords at work, everything they do is fake even the German coach they hired is fake plus his assistant coach Yobo too fake. Playing as a pundit when he should be on national team duty. Nigeria is the biggest thief on earth, football is the only thing that connects me to Nigeria and these animals will take it away from me with all these jokes going on.

  • OmoEsan 3 years ago

    What a pity! All of a sudden the Amaju Pinnick many of us admired years ago is beginning to talk and act like a layman in the scheme of things.

    Who controls where players go to to ply their trade? It is a combination of what the player has to offer in terms of talent, skill, technical know how, exposure, experience and the players achievement with respect to his deliverables in recent time. All these must meet the expectation of a buying club/league before a player is considered fit for that league/club. In other words, the buying clubs are the trend setters in this market and not the NFF.

    Amaju by his statement has displayed his lack of knowledge as regards player pathways, especially the pathway Nigerian players follow to stardom.

    It is no coincidence that the majority of Nigerian players in Europe currently ply their trade in the backwaters of European football, playing in countries like Finland, Slovakia, Albania, Latvia, Armenia , Cyprus, Azerbaijan etc. The number of Nigerian players currently featuring in the various divisions of the leagues in the above mentioned countries is in hundreds.

    These guys will rather play in these leagues than the NPFL because no matter how underated these leagues are, the players have contracts that are binding, they get their salaries and allowances as and when due(no matter how small), they play on good pitches (even if majority of the stadia have sitting capacity below five thousand), the records of their achievements with respect to their deliverables are easily verifiable and most importantly agents and scouts from better rated leagues in neighboring countries like Turkey, Russia, Ukraine,Belgium, Holland, Norway etc can easily spot them and market them to better clubs in these leagues.

    We may check the career trajectory of most of the Nigerian players in Europe’s top 10 or top 15 leagues today and we will discover that apart from those that were lucky and good enough to use the U-17 or U- 20 national teams as a pedestal, the majority of them passed through these virtually unknown leagues to get to where they are today and only the very best amongst them finally get to play in Europe’s top 5 leagues or feature in the Champions/Europa Leagues for clubs in Europe’s top 10 or top 15 leagues. The soccer market and structure in Europe is so effective and reliable that only the best get to play at the highest level.

    A perfect understanding of this structure,market trends and player pathway will definitely influence a national team coach’s choice as regards the players he will invite to camp, hence Gernet Rohr’s preference for Nigerian players featuring in the top leagues.

    Unfortunately for the NPFL, the majority of Nigerian players currently playing in the backwaters of European football never tasted action in the NPFL before their transition. They move from Nigerian academies or amateur clubs, straight into Europe, yes, that has been the trend in the last ten years. So it is the rest who didn’t get offers in Europe that get to play in the NPFL and even in the NPFL the best of the rest may not get to play as “pay and play” is now the order of the day. The NPFL can never have quality with this ugly trend if you ask me.

    Oga Pinnick and Minister Dare, forcing NPFL players on your coach or not issuing International Transfer Certificates (ITCs) to players transitioning to unknown leagues isn’t the solution please. The only solution lies in restructuring the Nigerian league and FA Cup. You know the rules as it applies in these unknown leagues you want to stop our players from patronizing, yet you have refused to enforce those rules in Nigeria. Rules pertaining to players contracts and welfare, club registration and licensing requirements, standard pitches etc. Lets not pretend about it sirs, these rules are not hard. If the Nigerian banking sector could be restructured for sustainability and capacity development, the LMC can achieve same with the NPFL.

    If you stop issuing ITCs, you will be shocked when you see the same players you denied ITCs playing in Belarus with international passports of Benin Republic, Niger Republic and Togo. Yes, they will look for a way to become nationals of neighboring countries whose FA will gladly and speedily issue to them the ITCs that you deny them and the NFF will lose revenue to these countries’ FAs.

    Until Oga Pinnick takes the bull by the horns and do the needful, I dare say that we haven’t even seen the worst of the NPFL.

    A word they say is enough for the wise.

  • Well written @ omoesan

  • NaijaEaglesFan 3 years ago

    Pinnick NFF and Dare can not offer what they don’t have. They lack understanding to the basic aspects of what their responsibilities are. Players transfer destinations are not determined by NFF, it’s president nor Sports minister/ministry. The responsibility of the ministry/minister is to set the policies,framework and template for all sports in the country to grow and flourish, and the NFF responsibility is to set the policies/groundwork that are investor friendly which will attract them to willingly and enthusiastically invest their resources for football to grow in the country. It’s unfortunate that Dare just like other ministers before him lack the knowledge of what their basic functions are, and Pinnick on the other hand thinks that His function is to be the slave master who determines whom and where the players should be sold to instead of working to improve the game which will in turn translate to qualify football that would attract big teams team’s attention on our players, also attract quality players of other countries to want to come play in our league.

    The people who are entrusted to manage the affairs of Nigeria are always without ideas. If you think back to when Pinnick became the head of NFF, his agenda was to send Nigerian players to as he termed it then “the developmental leagues” and he went ahead to name these countries,Belgium,Holland,Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Instead of focusing on improving our football and leagues.

    They just don’t know what their duties are so it would be wrong on our part to expect any better after seeing them in action all these years to suddenly expect a transformation. We just have to hope they don’t run Nigerian football to the ground with the remaining time they have left so the next guy won’t have to be trying to dig us out of a hole, also hope he or she will be someone with a vision to move the game forward.

    Presently those guys just don’t have that.

  • Mr Hush 3 years ago

    With all due respect to Amaju, his ego is far bigger than his brain.

  • JimmyBall 3 years ago

    … Some folks will be thinking they have ran us out of CSN since our home stars lost albeit with gallantry now. We still dey background… no shaking!

    • Michael Adelami 3 years ago

      So losing 4-0 is losing gallantly, it is well.

      • JimmyBall 3 years ago

        Ofcourse… Atleast they bravely went unto the pitch and played to their abilities. We all keep blaming the players based at home… Despite the deplorable playing conditions and almost discouraging welfare packages these players play under… some of our clubs still make it to group stages of CAF Club Confed cup and Champions league and atimes quarter finals… the poor coaching standards is always visible in the NPFL and on the players productivity yet we only want to crucify the players and demoralize them… Can our almighty Super Eagles A-Team completely beat their chest that they would have been able to win against the Mexico team ranked 11th? The solution to domestic football in Nigeria should be wholistic and not shortcut lipservice… We need a well structured clubs U-18 National League atleast also at this point… We can regionalize that and have the best two (2) U-18 clubs from various region come and play a national championship of twevele (12) teams… two(2) from each of the regions at a predetermined venue and have it televised for the nation to watch… but all these require developmental funds… Contribution from clubs, NFF and corporate partners. Such a championship of club U-18 can feed our National U-20 as well as most clubs in the NPFL and such players should not be allowed to leave Nigeria before turning 23yrs… the former Yugoslavia were so good before their breakup because they used to have a government regulation that does not allow professional football players to transfer abroad before a fixed age… Ok, no one is talking about why Musa Ahmed who is captain and homebased refused to go play against Mexico… he chickened out instead of towing a path of honour. He is feeling big, like a foreign based also and I am sure needs his holiday too even though he has been on holidays for months when without club before signing for Kano Pillars recently and playing just around 3games… in almost ten (10) months as a professional… When camp is called for September against Liberia now… He will stroll into camp forming captain again… Our problems in Nigeria stare us complete and total in the face but we only like to use one eye to pick and choose what we call problems… Ahmed Musa is captain of both Homebased and foreign based and I see him not agreeing to travel to US to play Mexico as a dereliction of duty and responsibility! Let’s say it as it is…

  • SAMUEL 3 years ago

    What guys don’t know is that half of those home based players have secured foreign contracts !!! Their agents were all their to video them and presents them for trials.

    Even our foreign players cannot win that Mexican team,highest is draw.So let’s fix our league with proper technicality.The home based has lost and dusted so let’s move on and put pressure on NFF to give Gernot Rohr a good assistant that can read and study games.Thank you

  • Mercy 3 years ago

    Honestly I can see where picnick is coming from. The way many foreign born players turn the country down is embarrassing but the way he wants to go by it is what is wrong. Mr chairman talk to your cabinet and fix the league. Ensure the that league clubs has an under age team and each player must have a valid passport where we can monitor the true age of all our players. Enforce the law that the clubs: must pay the players salary timely, good playing surfaces, qualify coaches and security of players and staff.

  • Pinnik has a point but he made it at a wrong time and a wrong place….Any player that is brave enough to wear the Eagles jersey should be able to compete in Europe top 12 leagues
    Any player above 23 and playing outside this leagues has no business wearing the jersey….Haba how can you be hiding in Cyprus and be commanding a starting shirt in the super eagles??? As much as I don’t like pinnic on many issues but I agree with him on this very issue….We need to raise the standard of our national team if we want to make any impact on the world stage….. Without that no magician can help us….No African guadiola can help us….Just raise the bar and watch how we will conquer the world…..Our players are talented but they are not just expose enough in top leagues to have that heart to play and beat big teams.

  • NaijaEaglesFan 3 years ago

    Mercy said “Honestly I can see where picnick is coming from. The way many foreign born players turn the country down is embarrassing”

    And Akp said “Pinnik has a point but he made it at a wrong time and a wrong place….Any player that is brave enough to wear the Eagles jersey should be able to compete in Europe top 12 leagues

    I really have to point out to you guys that you both got it wrong. You couldn’t know where Pinnick was coming from because Pinnick himself doesn’t know where he’s coming from. You’re concerned about the rate foriegn born players turn down the country but you failed to realize that their parents being Nigerians does not mandate them to play for Nigeria. It has to be their choice to do so that is why you always hear Rohr emphasizes that players born overseas to Nigerian have to show that they want to play for Nigeria before he can extend an invitation to them.

    Let’s talk about embarrassment.
    Embarrassment is the role Pinnick played in sabotaging NFF he was supposed to be leading by going against the coach’s advice when he approached Tammy Abraham for a photo up which he published in Nigeria newspapers claiming the young dude had agreed to play for us when nothing has been agreed on. Issues of this nature is not supposed to be made public until a concrete agreement has been reached,something Pinnick is totally ignorant of and because of his shitty ego ignored all approach from Rohr to stay away from that disastrous action.

    Players are not supposed to be approached on the pages of newspapers, that is done privately.

    The NFF and its affiliate LMC are supposed to improve the league and not being fixated on player transfer and transfer destinations. If any of those players get a deal to go play Cambodia, that should be the player’s prerogative not Dare, NFF and Pinnick place to decide where the player goes. If they are against Nigerian players going to those leagues they mentioned, they should improve the standard of the league and the pay package. If our league is up to South African standard, I guarantee you that our players will be moving to Valencia, Rome,Inter, AC,Atletico Villareal, AZ, Ajax, Arsenal, Chelsea and some will move straight to Barcelona and Real Madrid from Nigeria without having to take a long route to the big teams.

    Our problem is lack of vision on the part of the managers who sabotage our football by looting the funds meant for the development of the game and for the little crumbs they get from the agents. They can have those guys play against Brazil today, Germany tomorrow, Belgium the day after and England, no serious European team would consider any one of those players good enough for trial in their second team let alone offering them a contract for their main team.

    Pinnick is living in an unrealistic world and doesn’t understand that the players have the God giving freedom to choose where they want to go play their football. NFF job is to issue and sign the transfer certificate but not to dictate which country they should go to.

    It’s unfortunate that Dare and Pinnick are slowly killing football in Nigeria and it’s really sad that a lot of our people don’t see that.

    • @naijaeaglesfan I understand your point and I agree with you…we are both saying the same thing but in different ways….Yes the players can chose whatever club they wish to play for and nobody can challenge them…..But Nff and Nigeria can chose the kind of player we need in the national team…. Don’t expect someone playing in English premier league to be dropped for you that is playing in Belarus…. I think that’s the point pinnic was trying to make but he made it in a wrong manner….Look at Senegal, Ivory coast, Algeria, Cameron and top African countries,they have star studded teams with players in the EPL Laliga SeriaA Bundesliga Lig1….we need to speak to our players in our team A to step up in their next career move or they risk losing their shirts to upcoming players who are brave enough to play in top leagues….we need to encourage the young players making moves abroad to chose top leagues even if it’s a modest team but they should be playing in the elite leagues…. Agents should stop sending our players to mushroom leagues because such players find it hard to move out of such leagues….One transfer that really pained me recently was Chidera Ejuke,..Ejuke would have been able to move to atleast a midtable team in a top 5 league with his performance at Holland and his small transfer fee but instead his agent took him to Russia a league lower to the Dutch league in standard and signed for Cska who placed an unrealistic release clause on him….It will take the Grace of God for Ejuke to ever play in a top5 league again in his career…And this is a player that almost joined Liverpool as a teenager….The agents should be after the career progression of their clients’and should also have it in mind that this players are international players who carry the badge of a Great footballing country like Nigeria.

      • Mr Hush 3 years ago

        Totally in agreement @Naija Eagles fan.

        You can’t put the cart before the horse.

        To get what we seek in quality of players , we need to start from the root.

        The Nigerian footballing system must be fixed.
        Administration, mentality, management and structure.

        The Nigerian league have to be worked on aggressively to get to a respectable standard.

        If the league works correctly, from the administrative, functional, financial, managerial angle etc. We would definitely churn out quality players that would catch the eyes of top leagues abroad.
        Agents only sell players according to their worth. Football agencies are in it for the profit and they wouldn’t price themselves out. So if a player is worth the price , they would go for far more the value worth of such player.

        I dare say, if the league is functionally good and well run; why would our boys want to go out at all?
        Most of the Maghreb nations and South African players play in their respective local league.
        They have standard facilities, good management, advanced and up to date technical coaching and financially buoyant and responsible. The only thing they need is the international exposure in terms of games and they get that by playing in the continental cups and intercontinental cups as well, the latter by being winners on the continent.
        So by virtue of a well run league system, the local boys are exposed positively.

        We shouldn’t forget in the decent years gone by; when the league was partially ran well; most of the players in Enyimba , fill in well in different national teams around the continent.

        In fact, our own present captain, Ahmed Musa , was sold directly to the Venlo in the Dutch league. From there he moved to the Russian league(CSKA precisely) then to the EPL with Leicester city ( Hopefully, this cancels out @Akp’s above narrative that Ejuke can’t play in a top 5 league sometime soon due to his move to Russia; that’s further from the truth. He simply can; quality don’t hide, it is all in good time.he just needs to work hard).

        Pinnick and his goons should focus on fixing the homefront, getting their acts in order rather than deflecting and chasing moby dick.
        we all know what to do to get things right. The question is do we have the will to act.

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