Amoo makes case for home-based footballers 


Olufemi Olaniyi

Despite the inclusion of home-based star Ebube Duru in the Super Eagles squad for the friendly against  Algeria’s B team on Friday, which ended 2-2, Golden Eaglets coach, Fatai Amoo, insists more home-based players should have been included in the Nigerian team.

Rivers United left-back, Duru got a late invitation following injuries to some of the regulars in the team.

And speaking on Saturday, in an interview with our correspondent in Iseyin, Oyo State, on the sidelines of the final of the Peller Unity Cup, Amoo said home-based players should form the bedrock of the national team.

He said, “The Super Eagles have been taking advantage of every opportunity for international friendly matches and they should be commended for that. But some home-based players should be included in the senior national team, play and that has always been my position. They should form the bedrock of the national team. Go to Brazil; go to other top football nations, that is the situation. We can’t push our home-based players aside. We need them, they are willing to play.

“For example, one or two home-based players ought to have been in this team against Algeria. They will learn some lessons and they will improve if they have such opportunities.”

The Peller Unity Cup, which was organised by the lawmaker representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa Federal Constituency, Shina Peller, was won by Iseyin United, who beat Iseyin City 1-0 in the final.

Amoo, who lauded the lawmaker, said such competition will keep the youths productively busy and could  also be used to showcase their skills.

“I saw the matches and saw some talented players; talents abound everywhere in the country. We need to do more to get these young boys to play football,” he said.

Nigeria’s U-23 team goalkeeper to the 1996  Atlanta Olympics Dosu Joseph and Dimeji Lawal were among other ex-footballers who watched the final match.