Enyimba chairman Felix Anyansi-Agwu says lack of adequate investment is the reason Nigerian clubs struggle in CAF Interclub competitions, which is now dominated by North African teams.
The long-serving administrator stated this during a live radio programme in Port Harcourt at the weekend.
No Nigerian club has won a continental title since Enyimba claimed the CAF Champions League twice in 2003 and 2004, interestingly under the watch of Anyansi-Agwu.
Nigerian teams often fail to even reach the group stages of the CAF interclub competitions, and Anyansi-Agwu, who has been at the helm at Enyimba since 2001, says that is largely because they can’t match their North African counterparts in investments, adding that teams from the Northern part of the continent have better funding to provide improved facilities, enticing players remuneration and quality recruitment.
“Which of the Nigerian teams can you compare with the North African teams?” the NFF Board Member asked rhetorically.
“You talk about investment, you talk about a team that has the ability to buy a player for $1m (N460, 000, 000), you talk about a team that can pay a player $30,000, $50,000. These are the people Nigerian teams are competing with.
“Most clubs (in Nigeria) are under-funded and our people keep assuming that Superman (mentality).”
The Enyimba boss added that state governments – which own 90% of the topflight clubs in Nigeria – are trying their best, but admits other African countries are doing better in terms of funding.
He said: “Government are trying, we can’t really say, the economy is difficult.
“There are a lot of African countries who have woken up. The investments are huge.”
So far in the current campaign, former Nigerian champions Plateau United and Kano Pillars have crashed out from the preliminary rounds of the CAF Champions league and Confederation Cup respectively.
Anyansi-Agwu’s Enyimba are walking a tight rope after going down 3-0 to Sudanese giants Al Merrikh in the first leg of their first round CAF Champions League tie in Omdurman, ahead of the second leg in Aba on 6 January, 2021.