Supporters Club President Rafiu Ladipo Berates NFF Over Eagles’ World Cup Exit

Nigerian Football Supporters Club (NFSC) president, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo has directly blamed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the Super Eagles elimination from the ongoing FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria were eliminated from the tournament in Russia following a 2-1 defeat to former champions Argentina in their final Group D game at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg on Tuesday night.

Former Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo netted the winner with four minutes left to to hand Argentina a knockout stage spot at the expense of Nigeria.

Dr. Ladipo spoke about the team’s exit in a chat with the Punch as he blamed the NFF and also called on the Amaju Pinnick-led board to reveal how the World Cup money was spent.

In his words, he said: “It’s too bad the Eagles are out of the World Cup, it was avoidable.”

“We came here believing we will get to the quarterfinals or semifinals, and it was possible but we gave the ticket to Argentina.

“Unfortunately we have people in the NFF who think they know everything but they don’t understand the politics of the game.

“How come FIFA gave a big football country like Nigeria only 4,500 match tickets? We saw Argentines everywhere in the stadium and everywhere in Saint Petersburg.

“The NFF gave us only 200 tickets for the match.We were scattered in the corners of the stadium because we were not given a block match ticket, and that is where  the politics of the game  comes in.

“The Eagles were denied our support because of the situation we found ourselves. Argentina came in large numbers to support their team to victory because they have people who understand the politics of the game and encourage their  supporters to storm the stadium to save the country  from an early exit from the tournament.

“We must restructure Nigerian football and get rid of administrators who have nothing to offer.” He added.

Speaking further, Dr. Ladipo said: “The only people who came to support the Eagles are the supporters’ club members. But the NFF abandoned us and instead sponsored persons who had no business with our World Cup campaign in Russia.

“The NFF should explain what they did with the billions they got  from the government.”

“This is the worst NFF we have had in the history of football in the country. At USA ’94, France ’98 and 2014 World Cups we got to the second round.

“This time round we didn’t get to the second round due to bad administration of the game in the country by the current NFF.

“The players did their best and we must commend their efforts.” He concluded.