By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Nigerian-born Thailand Premier League Coach, Adebayo Gbadebo on Tuesday said that Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has a lot to learn to upgrade soccer governance and management in Nigeria
Coach Gbadebo, a former Sports Director of the Students Union Government University of Ibadan stated this while featuring as the guest of the month on Ex-University of Ibadan Footballers Association online platform.
According to the Head Coach of Suphanburi FC, Thailand, ” in as much as it is good to learn from the premier league, Nigeria has so much to learn about how better results are being achieved in countries like Thailand with little resources but fantastic soccer organisation when compared with so much resources with little results.”
“I want to assure us that the Thailand Football has moved from the level where Nigerian football is at present. I have been in Thailand for two decades now so I saw the way they (Thailand) grew and I believe the best is yet to come because now Thailand is now competing among the best leagues in Asia”, he said.
Coach Gbadebo added, ” I think they are about number four. There are so many things Nigerian can learn: Is it about management style, or football association system of running the premier league or is it about the stadium and the facilities or the quality of the broadcasting which is at the level of what you can see in very top league all over the world including sponsorship process?.
” Its good to learn from Premier League but I think a country like Nigeria needs to take one step at a time sometimes to learn from countries that are doing better than them despite the fact that they have less resources than them.”
Responding to a question on whether he will be interested in coaching the Super Eagles or not, Coach Gbadebo, said while he is willing to work for his fatherland, coaching the Super Eagles must be backed up by needed logistics without which achieving results will be impossible.
“National team job is different from club job. Looking at my qualification as pro-licensed coach, I have no challenge or problem taking up a national team coach job. Talking about my country, it is an honour, I will be very proud to be a national coach of Nigeria or that of any nation that has what it takes to back it up. Its much more easier because you have the best players in a country and outside the country to work with.
“What you don’t have access to at club level you have at the country level if you can do your homework very well as a coach. I will also need to know what is on ground because football is not only about the coach; it takes also the interest of the management to back you up. Like in the club, the management needs to back me up with what is needed to achieve what they want. So it’s not only about giving somebody a national team job without giving them the right time, tools, the basic things like funds which must not be delayed. If they are in place, I am a proud Nigerian and I will love to be a national team coach of my country.”