Nigeria player ratings have dropped, says former sports minister Kaoje

The administrator bemused the low participation of the country's footballers in the awards

Former minister of Sports and Social Development, Bala Bawa Kaoje says Caf continuous snubbing of Nigerian players for Africa’s top awards shows that they are not globally rated again as it was previously.

Four Nigerians emerged as Africa’s best on five different occasions between 1993 and 1999 but recently, the reverse has been the case.

“I am very much disappointed that none of Nigerian male players was able to win the Caf Player of the Year award just like last year. I thought that our inability to win the award last year will teach us a lesson to do things right ahead of this year’s edition but it was still the same thing. It appears that all our expectations have been dashed,” Kaoje told media.

Article continues below

“It was only a lady that saved our blushes [who won the African Women Player of the Year]. Since we have been unable for quite some time now to win some of this Caf prizes it shows that our players are no longer rated as relevant on the continent.

“If you look at our rating too, it has dropped. We are going down in Africa as a team. There is a lot of work to be done by football administrators in Nigeria. I think the Honourable Minister (Solomon Dalung has to take the lead. He should call everybody to order.

“We need to redirect our efforts to reclaim our rightful positions. We have never done this badly before previously. It is so unfortunate,” he concluded.