Ex-Green Eagles (now Super Eagles) captain and legend Segun Odegbami says it is not out of place for former players of the senior national team to vie for the presidency of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Odegbami, a key member of Nigeria’s 1980 Africa Cup of Nations winning team under Brazilian coach Otto Gloria, has had several unsuccessful bids for the presidency of the NFF.
However, the ex-Shooting Stars player says he and other ex-internationals won’t stop trying despite the obstacles placed by incumbent administrators to scuttle the efforts of former footballers to lead their respective football federations.
Speaking in a virtual interview with journalists, Odegbami said: “Is it not right for you being a footballer and administrator to vie for NFF presidency? It is right.
“But you’ll see that even globally, administrators don’t want star footballers to come into administration. It is like they will tell you ‘the rich man should not go and contest for political office. So, they don’t want footballers, particularly those that are well-known, to contest for administrative positions.
“You can see what is happening to Didier Drogba in his country Cote d’Ivoire even now. So, it’s a challenge. We will not give up, we’ll still continue to try,” the 67-year-old who has authored several books said.
Nicknamed The Mathematical in his playing days by late commentator Ernest Okonkwo, Odegbami is the second-highest goalscorer in Nigeria’s history with 23 goals from 46 matches between 1976 and 1982.
He was a key member of the great Shooting Stars side of the 70s and early 80s, which dominated Nigeria and the continent.
In 2015, Odegbami threw his hat into the ring for the FIFA presidential seat, before withdrawing after failing to secure the required backing.