By George Aluo
Head of technical department of the nation’s soccer governing body, NFF, Bitrus Bewarang was not a happy man when leaving Russia for home last week.
The coach who like other Nigerian football stakeholders and fans were disappointed in Super Eagles’ failure to book a round of 16 place blamed the not too impressive outing squarely on the players.
Bewarang in an exclusive chat with this writer at the Pulkovo international airport in Saint Petersburg without mincing words said, given what the NFF did for the players ahead of the mundial, they should have played with more commitment and zeal.
The Plateau State born veteran tactician said never in the history of Nigerian football has a team been so taken care of and pampered.
“I have been involved with our football now both at club and national team levels for over four decades as a coach. I was with Clemence Westerhof as assistant coach of Eagles at USA 94 and I know what I m talking about. I know how we normally prepare for tournaments. I know the challenges we face with the players sometimes threatening to go on strike. But, there was nothing like that ahead of the Russia 2018 campaign. This team we brought to Russia got all they needed to perform, so I felt the boys should have come out fighting to make Nigerians happy. The NFF made them happy, even at the expense of other staff and commitments but at the end of the day they did not give that same measure on the field of play.”
Bewarang pointed out that he has taken note of a few things he observed as a technical person which he said he was going to put in his technical report and submit to his employers.
“I have observed a few things where I felt we got it wrong. That is not for the press. I will submit a comprehensive technical report on what has happened here and what I feel would be the way forward. We have to put the World Cup tournament behind us and focus on other assignments ahead,” Bewarang said.