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Exclusive: Victor Osimhen Must Apologise to Finidi George for His Rants, says Taiwo Oloyede

Ex-Nigeria international Taiwo Oloyede calls on Victor Osimhen to apologize to Finidi George for his disrespectful outburst. Oloyede discusses the current state of Nigerian football, criticizes the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), and offers insights into improving the sport in the country.

Gbemidepo Popoola
G. Popoola

Last Updated: 2024-07-02

Louis Hobbs

7 minutes read

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Ex-Nigeria international Taiwo Oloyede has advised Victor Osimhen to apologise to Finidi George for his disrespectful outburst towards the coach.

A legend of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) himself, Oloyede played for the Super Eagles from 1994-1996. During his prime in the NPFL, he captained one of the most successful private clubs, the now-defunct Stationary Stores, and also played for Julius Berger, BCC Lions, 3SC, Sunshine Stars, Union Bank, and First Bank before his retirement.

He is currently a coach with the Elites, the Free Age, and also serves as the Assistant Technical Director for the Lagos State Football Association.

In an exclusive, no-holds-barred interview, Oloyede spoke about his transition into retirement, how he stays connected with the football community, his views on the current state of Nigerian football, and the recent controversy involving Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen.

Life After Football and Staying Connected to the Football Community

Oloyede, who played for the Super Eagles from 1994 to 1996, expressed satisfaction with his football career and described his transition to retirement as smooth.

"I have no regrets about playing football professionally. I enjoyed it, and I'm enjoying my retirement," Oloyede told SportsBoom.com.

"Part of enjoying my retirement is using my leisure time to play football."

"Playing friendly games at age 60 isn't for the weak, and definitely not everyone. But I do it regularly. I play for at least 20 minutes in a half of 45 minutes, then take a break. I train with my club every Saturday and Sunday."

Discussing how he stays connected to the football world in Nigeria after retirement, the ex-3SC forward spoke glowingly about joining a team of all-stars.

"Most of us join All Stars, as it's filled with ex-internationals like myself who have played professional football in the past. The majority of the young ones know our names, but not our faces. The club is an avenue for us to reconnect with the younger generation."

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Image Credits: Sports247.NG

Finidi George's Resignation and Victor Osimhen's Outburst

Regarding Finidi George's resignation from the Super Eagles after less than 50 days, Oloyede didn't hold back, expressing strong opinions.

"The pressure was too much on Finidi George, which was caused by a lack of loyalty to him. Most of the boys are not loyal to him," Oloyede stated.

"Like Osimhen talking to Finidi George. He must come out and apologise."

"What has he done in his life that makes him better than Finidi? Is it money? Fame? Has he won the Champions League? Has he won the Nations Cup? Being the highest goal scorer in the qualifiers is not an achievement if it's not repeated in the tournament proper."

"Just because he was the highest goal scorer at his club when they won the Scudetto last season doesn't give him the right to talk to Finidi like that. He's very rude and going public to rant that 'Ogun' will kill somebody shows he was not brought up well. He also lacks good advisers to put him on track."

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We need a refurbishment. We need to start again from the grassroots

Taiwo Oloyede

Future Prospects and Recommendations

Looking ahead, Oloyede emphasised that he would still recommend an indigenous coach for the Super Eagles, despite recent issues with Finidi George.

"The bane of indigenous Nigerian coaches has been the lack of a free hand to take total control of the management of the team."

Oloyede lamented the strong influence of player agents and selected officials in the NFF as major problems facing indigenous coaches of the Super Eagles.

"The agents and selected NFF officials are the major culprits. They want their players in the national camp and will go to any lengths to make it happen, often using the national team camps as a platform to secure foreign deals abroad."

"But it shouldn't be like that. The proper route is to market themselves from the home league first with strong performances at their clubs. Then they can dream about a call-up, not the other way around."

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I would still recommend home-based coaches. The foreign coaches are great, no doubt, but the home-based coaches should be given a fair chance too.

Taiwo Oloyede

The Current Landscape of Nigerian Football

The pacy and tricky winger in his prime held nothing back when describing his thoughts on the state of Nigerian football.

"We need a refurbishment. We need to start again from the grassroots," Oloyede asserted. "Our football is declining, and it is alarming. From the administration to the coaches and the players themselves, it's a very sad situation for our country, Nigeria, to be struggling to qualify for the World Cup and the Nations Cup."

"If we had the right administrators and made use of our grassroots talent hunting scheme, we wouldn't be in this mess."

The former Stationary Stores captain also called on the country's football federation to stick to what worked in the past.

"We must look inward to select players representing us at all levels, not just going abroad to pick already established stars who have no affinity to the badge. At least 40% of our players must come from the home league, those performing at the top level in the league."

Advice to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)

Oloyede advised the NFF to look inward as a solution for the current problems plaguing the federation.

"They should look inward and find capable coaches, taking them on refresher courses, if need be," he suggested. "The indigenous coaches chosen should also be given a free hand to do their jobs."
 

Gbemidepo Popoola
Gbemidepo PopoolaSports Writer

Gbemidepo Popoola, is a freelance Sport Journalist with multiple years of experience in Writing, Reportage and Broadcasting. Gbemidepo's major concentration is telling the local Nigerian Sporting stories, in its own Unique way. This is because he believes, "no one, can tell our story better than ourselves".