Lagerback wants home-grown bosses

DURBAN - A reorganisation of domestic leagues and more home-grown coaches in charge of national teams may help international football in Africa progress, according to Nigerian boss Lars Lagerback after a World Cup disappointment.

The coach, speaking after the 2-2 draw with South Korea on Tuesday doomed Nigeria to a tournament first-round exit from Group B, said African countries would do better in the sport's biggest tournament if they spent more time together.

So far, no African country has reached the last 16 although Ghana will progress if they beat or draw with Germany on Wednesday night in Group D.

Swede Lagerback accepted blame for Nigeria's failure but said there may be other factors throughout the continent which needed to be fixed before an African breakthrough on the biggest stage. No team has gone further than the quarter-finals.

"What is the problem for Africa in general? It's really small margins when you are playing at this level. The only thing I can say is that, and I'm not sure I'm right in that, may be domestic leagues need a bit more continuity," he said.

Most of Africa's leading players take part in European leagues rather than those from nearer home which are generally not as well run and lack money.


The Swede challenged retired Nigerian and other African players to take over as coaches in their countries and also running the management of the leagues too.

For one thing, most foreign trainers have little time with the players and do not have full knowledge of the real situation on the ground, he said.

Lagerback suggested that his experienced forward Nwankwo Kanu would be a likely candidate when he stopped playing.

"I talked to Kanu about that also. I mean the players that have been around and played for a long time. I hope that they can come back into the African countries working as coaches and help to influence the football in their countries," he said.

"I think Kanu would be a perfect person doing that if he wants to.

"But as I said I'm not an expert. I've only been in Nigeria for five months and I know very little about how they are structured in other African countries."

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