Club and Country: If Samson Siasia Truly Understands The Plight of the Nigerian League Players


Recently, coach Samson Siasia issued a stern warning to players whom he has called up for national assignment with the Dream Team. He specifically mentioned that players who leave the camp to honour midweek games for their various clubs would be dropped regardless of their ability.

The team is currently preparating for the forth-coming Olympic games in Rio de Janero, Brazil sometime August and it is of utmost importance that preparation kick starts now.

… “I understand their plight that they need these players to do well in the League, but then we must draw a line between national interest and club interest.

I will not release any player for mid-week games. If the clubs cannot release these players, then I am sorry, no matter how good these players are, they cannot be part of my plans.” – Siasia stated.

The team is working towards an invitational tournament next month (June), but Siaone, this is not a matter of national interest neither do you seem to understand their plight like you have stated! Are we saying that the clubs cannot have their players when needed? Is Siasia aware that he has called up the ”best” players from the teams? May be Siasia should also be reminded that these players are needed by their clubs to prosecutes league matches.

It is the dream of every sportsman to represent his/her country at the international stage. This desire drives these individual to perform at their optimum in their various callings, be it track or field or other platforms.

For Nigerian footballers, the joy that comes from wearing the ”Green, White, Green” national colour cannot be overemphasized. Player from the local scene, those who ply their trade outside the shores of the county, and other Nigerians who haven’t stepped their feet on home soil look forward to a call up.

It could be said without fear of contradiction that this will affect the momentum of these club. Take a look at Sunshine Stars, they are trying to find their feet as they are languishing in the other half of the table. However, playing without five of their best at this time will never be good for the club.  That being said, five players from Kano Pillars who recently recorded another epic loss at home to Enyimba. The club also has five of its player in the Dream Team. Other teams like Warri Wolves have four, Rangers two and so on.

The best way to handle this is to agree with the club and not dictate. Reason along with the clubs just as it is in one of the holy book, ”come let us reason together.”

Worthy of note is the fact that world football governing body, FIFA has a schedule with a number of international breaks each year during which clubs are obliged to release players usually between two and five days to compete for their national teams. Most leagues around the world have their calendar planned to meet up with this demand so players do not have to miss important games both for club and country.

This is another pointer to consider adjusting our calendar to match international events which helps us organize our internal affairs such as preparing for outings without threatening the success of the clubs and players at any time.

Featured image: ESPN

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