Former Nigerian international footballer, Peter Ijeh, has expressed his concerns about the state of football in Nigeria. In a recent interview, he emphasized the need for players to have a stronger sense of commitment to the national team and highlighted the lack of real competition within the squad. Ijeh believes that encouraging players to return and play in Nigeria, fostering a sense of national spirit, and creating a more competitive environment are crucial steps towards improving the performance of the Super Eagles.

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Ijeh highlighted the issue of players lacking a deep sense of commitment to the national team. He expressed disappointment in the lack of remorse shown by players after a loss, suggesting that they treat it as just another match. According to Ijeh, players who have experienced the Nigerian league and embody the Nigerian spirit would feel the pain of losing for their country. He stressed the importance of instilling a strong sense of national pride and commitment among the players.

One of Ijeh’s suggestions is to create incentives for players abroad to come and play in Nigeria. He believes that if players experience the Nigerian league and connect with the national spirit, they will have a stronger bond with the team and be more committed to its success. By encouraging players to return, Nigeria can tap into the talent pool of its diaspora and create a more competitive national team.

Ijeh criticized the notion of players using Nigeria as a backup option, emphasizing that the country should not accept being treated as a plan B. He argued that Nigeria should maintain its dignity and not settle for players who view representing the nation as a secondary choice. By rejecting this mentality, Nigeria can ensure that only players who are fully committed and passionate about representing the country are selected for the national team.

Ijeh stressed the importance of fostering a competitive environment within the national team. He argued that when players see that there is genuine competition for positions, they will be motivated to give their best and improve their performance. Currently, Ijeh believes that players feel secure in their positions, knowing that regardless of their performance, there will be no consequences. Introducing healthy competition will push players to constantly strive for excellence.

Ijeh called for action to address these issues in Nigerian football. He suggested that there are players who have been flagged due to their lack of commitment, but their presence continues to go unchallenged. Ijeh believes that Nigerian football enthusiasts should demand accountability and push for the best players to represent the nation. By making the selection process more rigorous and ensuring that only the most committed and talented players are chosen, Nigeria can greatly improve its chances of success on the international stage.