AFCON 2019 : Football proprietor express disappointment over Super Eagles’ performance
By Leonard Egwuma
The President of Diamond Football Academy, Mr. Ikechukwu Apugo, has expressed disappointment over Super Eagles performance at the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
He expressed this while speaking with newsmen on Thursday, at the ongoing Diamond Football Academy soccer tournament at Ahiaeke in Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia.
Apugo, who has produced several talents in the junior and national teams, said that the Super Eagles were performing below expectations.
He said, “I’m not impressed because what I expected from Super Eagles is not what I have seen.
“This is only a group stage and we are struggling.Now that we have qualified for the round of 16, it is going to be tougher.
“We don’t have a sharp attack.We need boys that have energy to marshal our attack.
“I don’t know why the coach decided to play Chukwueze from the bench in our match against Guinea yesterday (Wednesday).
“He needs to put boys with energy in the attack to get goals for us because there are no underdogs in African football any longer.”
Apugo, who said he had been into discovery of talents since 1989, said that the likes of Kanu Nwankwo, Mobil Oparaku, Samuel Chukwueze, Kelechi Nwakali and others passed through his tutelage.
The football proprietor said that Nigeria was blessed with a lot of young talents, adding that the only thing needed was exposure.
“That was exactly what we did with Chukwueze and Kelechi Nwakali in our academy, though I later took them to Portugal to play there.
“So the talents in Nigeria need to be exposed either by taking them to Europe or bringing Europe to Nigeria through scouts and agents.
Wawa News Global reports that scouts and agents from Europe came for the football competition.
Mr Johnny Peters, a senior scout at Manchester United Football Club, who said it was his first visit in the country, expressed satisfaction at the level of talents he saw at the competition.
Also, Mr Klay Ekeoha, a Nigerian-born football agent based in Belgium, said he had attended previous competitions, and had taking some talents to Europe.
Wawa Global reports that 22 football academy teams across the nation are participating in the three-day competition that will end on Friday.