Interviews

Needs to be at the World Cup-Dimeji Lawal

: June 11, 2013 8:33 am : Interviews

Dimeji Lawal

Dimeji Lawal

Raymond Nwaduba  interviewed former  international, Dimeji Lawal for http://www.sportsdayonline.com. We re-post the entire interview here for the benefit of soccer fans.

What do you think of the Nigeria league, do you think we are improving?
I don’t think so. Much as I want to believe we are improving, I don’t think so. Just go around the clubs to see things for yourself, the boys are suffering and this is not good for our football at all. You can imagine these players going by road from Ibadan to Maiduguri. It is not even that these buses are comfortable and cuisine enough which even at that it is still too much a journey to make before a football game. How would you get the best of these boys after making such a long distance journey? When we were playing; during my days at Julius Berger that was around 1986 or there about, any journey more that eight hours we use flight. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Today, we play on astro turf pitches but our rich men play golf on lush green pitches. Tell me, which one is more difficult to maintain a football pitch or a golf course? Parties, crusade and other social functions are held on our pitches leaving dangerous holes on the field. It is a very big problem and I advise everyone to look into it.

The only consolation is Keshi taking some home based players to the African Nations Cup which shows that we have the talents but we have refused to manage them properly.

Nigerian clubsides performed abysmally in the continent this year with all of them crashing out except for Rangers which were eliminated from the CAF Champions league and now demoted to the Confederation cup, what do you think went wrong?
It’s difficult to really pin down exactly what went wrong especially after seeing the home based stars doing very well at the AFCON, one would have expected that this would rub off on our club football but this was not the case. It’s hard to imagine that we failed with our clubsides just few months after winning the nations cup when our football should have been on the up.

What do you think of the busy June schedule of the Super Eagles do you think we can qualify for the world cup?
I pray we do well at the Confederations cup and also qualify for the 2014 world cup which is the ultimate. The country needs to be at the world cup because Africa has to be represented by her best. But my only fear is this quarrel we pick up with our coaches and team immediately after winning a major competition. This is quite unfortunate. But I think the moment we are able to put all these behind us Nigeria will soar because the talents abound in the country.

What is your take on the AFCON 2013 hero, Sunday Mba who has been enmeshed in a transfer brouhaha between Rangers international of Enugu and Warri Wolves of Warri?
Sunday Mba is in a country where things are not documented and this makes it very difficult to decipher who is right or wrong in this case. I can’t blame Warri Wolves, Rangers nor Mba himself because if there were records it is just a matter of going back to refer to them. But in this instance there was nothing to refer to therefore no body has erred because there can’t be punishment where there is no law. The whole thing was just a big embarrassment. At a point, even Enyimba was calling on the player to come and play for them. So you can imagine all the confusion. It is a big lesson and I hope we will just learn from that.

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