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How Idah Peterside Reacted to Osimhen, Oshoala, Nnadozie’s CAF Awards Win

Idah Peterside, a former Super Eagles goalkeeper, believes Victor Osimhen, Asisat Oshoala, and Chiamaka Nnadozie’s victory at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards on Monday is a good sign for Nigerian football.

“The recognition of Asisat in the female category, Osimhen in the male category, and Chiamaka as Goalkeeper of the Year is an encouraging and positive sign that Nigeria still possesses exceptional talents,” Peterside said in a live interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.

The trio’s success, according to the former goalie, “is like a beacon of light in a previously dark tunnel,” saying that “national teams have faced challenges in recent months and years.”

He also emphasized the importance of developing talent at the grassroots level and praised Osimhen’s recognition of Emmanuel Amunike before accepting his prize.

Peterside detailed Osimhen’s path, which began from humble beginnings eight years ago, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and cultivating talent at the grassroots level.

The former goalie also emphasized the importance of strong infrastructure in both local and national football in order to constantly develop exceptional players.

“When you look at the trajectory of every one of those players, the structures down came from Nigeria. Asisat played for the local teams, Chiamaka played for the local teams, and now they’re playing in Europe,” Peterside said.

“That’s why it is so important—very vital that the structures must be right.”

He urged investment in grassroots football and football associations, stating that such investments would yield a considerable number of talented players for Nigeria on the international stage.

“We’ve been hearing structures, but the structure here has to be right at that national level to be able to produce great players,” the former goalie said.

“Look at how they’re doing very well internationally; if we invest more in our grassroots football if we invest more in our FAs, they will begin to chunk these kinds of players, you see.”

Excited by these players’ accomplishments, Peterside remarked, “Imagine how many talents we can have; we have great potential in Nigeria.” Their success in wearing green symbolizes the abundant source from which they arise.”

Peterside also raised the issue of overemphasizing foreign players, claiming that it has a negative impact on the growth of football in Nigeria.

“I think a whole lot of emphasis has been placed on players that are playing outside the country and with that, it is daunting our development. You find out that no one looks into our league; no one looks into our league; no one is bothered about what happens in our states in leagues; and in FAS, the attention has drifted to Europe.

“When you look at the female team in every tournament, you will see that we have a whole lot of players that are playing at home.”

Peterside has criticized Africa’s undue reliance on FIFA, expressing concern that every step is preceded by FIFA involvement.

He campaigned for increased freedom and self-development in African football, emphasizing the importance of independence from FIFA’s ongoing surveillance.

“What is happening in Africa is that we are beginning to depend so much on FIFA, which is not right. Every other Federation wants to be independent from FIFA and we can now meet at FIFA.

“Everything we do, FIFA sends us a secretary. Every time there’s an opening of a nursery school, you see the FIFA president there.

“And we have been saying to the CAF president, our union is not FIFA, we need to develop ourselves.”

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