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Page last updated at 18:15 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 19:15 UK

West seeks Nigeria reform

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

Former Nigeria defender Taribo West
Taribo West was once a fixture in the Supereagles defence

Former Nigeria international Taribo West has declared his ambition to run football affairs in the country sooner rather than later.

The precarious situation of the national team [Super Eagles] in their 2010 World Cup qualifying group and the poor performance of the Under-20 side at the on-going World Cup in Egypt has triggered his calls for a total reform.

The former Inter Milan, AC Milan and Derby County defender says that retired players should be taking a bigger role in the administration of football in the West African country.

"I am ready to come in any capacity either as the NFF president, Vice-President or as a board member so we can get rid of the problems blighting our football," Taribo West told BBC Sport.

"We are seeking a way of fixing things as soon as possible but if that becomes impossible, it will be in the next election (in August 2010), and from there, we can walk the talk.

"We have ex-internationals who are capable of coming into Nigerian football administration and take it to another level.

"There are other Nigerians who have never played football but are brilliantly capable of executing the necessary changes required."

West, who played for Nigeria at both the 1996 Olympics and 1998 World Cup, said he wants to bring a new dimension to a football administration that has been tainted by a series of scandals.

"We have to look ourselves in the eyes and accept that our football pride and success is completely ruined by poor administration.

"There are many players like Okey Isima, Victor Ikpeba, George Finidi, Sunday Oliseh, Uche Okafor, Chidi Nwanu and others.

Taribo said there have been problems with the team for the last five years since his generation retired and criticised the running of the game in the country.

The tenure of the present NFF board led by Sanni Lulu Abdullahi will come to an end in August 2010 when there will be new elections.

But the 35-year-old West who played professionally in France, Italy, England, Germany and Qatar is not sure the present board deserve another year in office.

"We crave the indulgence of the federal government to look into these problems because football is the only unifying sector we boast of." West said.

Problems ranging from administrative squabbles, the alleged theft of US$236,000, the age-tests scandal of the national under-17 side as well as poor performance of the national teams (Super Eagles, Super Falcons and Flying Eagles) has rocked the present NFF board.

Former internationals like Sunday Oliseh, Emeka Ezeugo and Taribo West have been vocal in their calls for a football reform in the country.

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see also
Xerez deny West signing claim
29 Feb 08 |  African
Taribo West moves to Iran
24 Aug 07 |  African
Plymouth terminate West contract
06 Oct 05 |  Plymouth
Nigeria's West has presidential aims
17 Jun 05 |  African
Mboma and West go to Qatar
10 Aug 04 |  African
West hits out at Nigerian FA
14 Mar 02 |  World Cup
West ordered to find new club
13 Apr 02 |  Africans abroad
Taribo goes West
09 May 01 |  Derby County

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