- Taribo West has been slammed by former Nigeria internationals
- The former Super Eagles defender claims Nigerian football under current NFF board was a sinking ship
- West featured for the country's national team between 1994 and 2005 and won Olympics gold and AFCON 2000 silver medals
Ex-Nigeria internationals have slammed former Super Eagles defender Taribo West after saying the country's football under the reign of Amaju Pinnick is 'sinking beyond recognition'.
The former Inter and AC Milan defender passed a vote-of-no-confidence on the present Nigeria Football Federation board, adding that corruption has eaten deep into the administration.
He added that Pinnick and his executives should step down to allow those who will genuinely develop the game to come on board.
Meanwhile, Pascal Patrick, who won gold medal with the Nigeria U23 national team at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games has rubbished the claims from the former footballer turned pastor.
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The present Super Eagles team coordination highlighted that the three-time African kings finished third at the 2019 AFCON championship in Egypt this summer.
It was the first time the tournament would be staged in the middle of the year with 24 teams battling for the top prize.
Algeria emerged champions while Senegal clinched silver medal with Gernot Rohr's men returning with bronze at the end of the tourney.
"What I know and remember is that this year, Nigeria finished third from the biggest-ever AFCON championship in history (involving 24 teams) and Nigerians are excited about a young and strong team that almost defeated Brazil in a friendly match and looks very promising for the future.
"I also know that this year, the Super Falcons reached the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 20 years, and last year, we came very close to reaching the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
On his part, former defender Chikelue Iloenyosi described Taribo West’s comments as the “ranting of a disgruntled fellow.”
"We are aware of a small group of disgruntled fellows and scandal-mongers to which West now belongs, so we are not surprised. Nigeria has finished this year ranked 31st in the world – the highest for a very long time.
"Nigeria won gold and silver in the football event of the African Games in Morocco. Even the losses of the Falcons and the U23 boys in the Olympics race were near misses, as the Falcons only lost out on the away goal rule and the U23 boys lost only one match by the odd penalty goal at the U23 AFCON in Egypt.
"Taribo West was appointed to coordinate the 1994 Super Eagles that were honoured by the NFF at the AITEO-NFF Awards earlier this year even though he was only on the fringes and was not in the winning team.
"We remember how he praised the NFF at the Awards. Now that he has joined those creating a toxic environment, Nigerian Football is ‘sinking’ in his blurred eyes."
Iloenyosi added: "It is a shame for Taribo West to join this negative group. They are not helping Nigerian Football in any way.
"Despite all their actions and noise, the Nigeria game holds great promises for the near future. Even the Golden Eaglets that lost out in the second round of the FIFA World Cup remains the youngest we have ever presented at that level and they will do very well in their careers and for the senior teams in the near future.
"Our responsibility is to provide support and encouragement for those who are in leadership positions and to advice them on certain policies if we see they are going wrong.
"Not to descend to the level of teaming up with negative and destructive opposition groups.”
Legit.ng earlier reported that Nigeria's Super Falcons slipped three places on the latest FIFA ranking to finish the year 2019 as the 39th best women's team in the world.
This is coming after the country's women senior national team failed to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Cote d'Ivoire edged the African champions out on away goals after playing 1-1 on both legs of their encounter in October.
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