Football is dead in Nigeria, says Okocha

The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder believes coach Stephen Keshi and his men are not to blame for the Super Eagles’ defeat to Sudan in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier

Former Nigeria captain Jay-Jay Okocha says football in the country is “long dead and gone” and has refused to blame team or coach Stephen Keshi for their 1-0 defeat to Sudan in Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

A ferocious header by striker Bakri Abd Elgadir in the closing stages of the first half flew past goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and in as the hosts got the better of the African champions.

The result means Nigeria now walk a tight rope towards qualifying for the biennial African football showpiece billed for Morocco in 2015.

Okocha leapt to the defence of the current crop of players and the coach, insisting the nation’s game is failing immensely.

“Anyone that blames Keshi or the boys is short sighted. Our football is long dead and gone.

The reigning African champions are now bottom of the table in Group A with one point from three matches, while South Africa climbed to the top with seven points after their 2-0 away victory over Congo.

Nigeria will welcome Sudan to Abuja in next Wednesday’s match as they attempt to revive their now slim chances of reaching Morocco in January.

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