[Letters] The missing element at the World Cup: African coaches

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[Letters] The missing element at the World Cup: African coaches

It is a shame that after nearly decades of success in African football on the world stage by nations such as Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana, black Africa is still unable to produce a single coach for any of its teams at the FIFA World Cup taking place in South Africa.

At a time where blacks around the world have fought off apartheid, colonization, Jim Crow laws, segregation and have even produced a black American president to show the equality and progress of blacks, nations like Nigeria cannot produce a single local coach for the World Cup.

Great European football teams such as Barcelona, Chelsea and Inter Milan cannot deny the contributions of Africans toward their yearly success, but Africa has failed in turning these gifted players into certified national coaches after retirement.

The FIFA World Cup is not just the biggest and the most watched event in the world, but it is also the window where nations, peoples, cultures and stereotypes are evaluated.

Blacks in America have since fought against not having enough black coaches in their basketball and football leagues, but it seems black Africans are not conscious about the power of sports toward improving their global economic perception.

Some American friends, who do not care about football nor have spoken to me in months, are interested in the World Cup just to see Africa. They are now calling me just to find out why Nigeria has a white coach.

Many are extremely disappointed that after decades of struggle to be perceived as equal that Mother Africa still relies on whites to lead it on the world stage even on African soil.

Some are wondering if the 150 million Nigerians only know how to play the game, but must be given technical guidance from whites. I am extremely embarrassed and ashamed about this World Cup that was supposed to bring Africa honor.

Every decent football nation at the event has a citizen from its continent coaching them except the African teams.

In my response to the calls, I was forced to admit that Nigeria dumped Shaibu Amodu, the Nigerian coach that qualified them for the event, and took a white coach that failed in Sweden because his own team didn’t qualify for the Cup.

It is easier the get more money to pay underrated white coaches and get kickbacks, than to hire a competent African coach that qualified them for the event.

Instead of celebrating the most successful World Cup which is taking place in Africa, the event has now justified African inferiority in management, decision making and technical abilities.

In fact, I have yet to see an African referee at the event, it there are any at all. FIFA needs to desperately clean out African football houses and install past professional African players that are trained in football administration to run African football and our football leagues properly.

Ehi Aimiuwu,

Founder of Edofolks.com, Atlanta, U.S.
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