Plateau United coach, Abdul Maikaba, has raised the alarm over inactivity of clubs scheduled to represent Nigeria in the CAF competitions next season. Maikaba said yesterday that he is worried that the clubs have not been doing enough training since the outbreak of the coronavirus, which necessitated a nationwide lockdown and suspension of all sports activities.
Plateau United, Enyimba, Rivers United and Kano Pillars are scheduled to fly Nigeria’s flag in CAF inter-club competitions next season.
Maikaba told The Guardian that it would be a disservice to Nigerian football to send clubs out without adequately preparing them, adding that it is important for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the League Management Company (LMC) to draw out a guideline that would help clubs playing in the continent begin preparations early. This, according to him, should include coordinated safety measures to put them in good stead ahead of the football season.
He noted that it would be a waste of resources and huge embarrassment to Nigeria if its CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup representatives failed to live up to the country’s reputation in football.
The former Akwa United coach said: “I am happy that Plateau United will be playing in the continent, but I must say that the four teams that qualified for the continent will face challenges of inadequate preparation.
“You cannot give what you don’t have. The NFF and LMC should make arrangements with the sports and health ministries, as well as the various state governments to test players and officials for COVID-19 so that we can start preparing in an enclosed area.
“Sponsors of clubs should also be involved. I am saying this because it will be a big challenge for the clubs if they don’t prepare adequately the championships.”