BBC Home

Explore the BBC

Browse: Football


user rating: 4 star

What is the matter with Blatter?

comment on the article

Sepp Blatter, the president of world football's governing body Fifa, has been in fine form this week, unveiling some eyebrow-raising proposals for the future of the game ahead of Fifa's International Board meeting.

First in the firing line has been German coach Berti Vogts, who Blatter has slammed for living outside of Nigeria during his time in charge of the Super Eagles.

Indeed, Blatter believes international football would be stronger if national associations were forced to use indigenous coaches and that Africa is guiltier than most in this respect.

A nice idea in theory, but is it realistic to expect major African teams to rely on untested local coaches when there is World Cup qualification or a Nations Cup on the line?

There are some fine African coaches who have brought success to their sides, Hassan Shehata of Egypt and Luis Oliveira Goncalves of Angola being notable examples, but what if national coaches of such calibre are hard to find?

Surely a national side should have the choice to employ the man they think is right for the job - on merit not nationality?

Greece looked to Germany and Otto Rehhagel for success and watched as he led his unfancied side to victory in the 2004 European Championship.

South Africa has turned to the expertise and experience of Brazil's World Cup-winning coach Carlos Alberto Parreira to maximise their competitive chances when they host the World Cup in 2010.

And what of Cameroon, who were led to within a whisker of the African crown by veteran German campaigner Otto Pfister?

Okay, so Vogts wasn't successful for Nigeria - but was he the right man for the job? I would argue it was his defensive tactics and poor understanding of Nigerian expectations, not his nationality, which led to his demise.

Latest comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Mar 12, 2008

I do disagree with that statement but to me it doesn't matter where they come from but they must learn to adapt to the country's cultural and traditional ways. Sepp is right in blasting Vogts and who the hell is Vogts that he couldn't stay in Nigeria.
Well we paid a high price for it but i think now we have enough local coaches to bring the pride the Super Chickens lost in the last tournament. I hope we learn about some of these incompetent foreign coaches. Infact we were warned by the Scots of this calamity but did we listen? No.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Mar 13, 2008

Ghana played the best football at AFCON.

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by tawaric (U1889439)

posted Mar 13, 2008

I agree with Blatter on Vogts not staying in Nigeria during his stay there; thats the snag on the Nigerian FA. On coaches coming from same country I honestly do not agree, coaches should be selected based on merit and experience regardless of his or her country of origin. Blatter has been been kind of controversial recently, as a leading figure in world football, he should watch his utterances. Africans aren't daft!!!

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Mar 14, 2008

I also agree with Blatter as regards Vogts not staying in Nigeria when he was coach but as regards coaches coming from same country..? least, not in Africa. We are yet to produce one quality coach in Africa and even though people will want to call names like Shehata and Goncalves, lets be honest, what have these coaches achieved (with all due respect to them) beyond Africa? Even when coaching their teams at the world cup? Let African coaches go outside Africa and make a name for themselves, then maybe we can advocate for them but in the sentiments please, but we aint good enough, not just yet

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Mar 14, 2008

Sepp Blatter is talking real sense. Simply because African coaches have not won anything out Africa does not mean that they are not good enough. With the kind of mentality African Football Associations have been demonstrating in hiring foreign coaches, one wouldn't be amazed to see foreigners in the helm of our governments one day. Or are our governments good enough yet? The fact is that we should give respect to whom it is due. Keshi took unfancied Togo to the World Cup, while Egypt won The Nations cup back to back with a local coach what else do you require of African coaches. I better have a local coach and lose 9-10 than have a foriegn coach and be subjected to the kind of football Greece played in Euro 2004.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Mar 15, 2008

I think coaches of African origin are easily influenced by angry fans and self-seeking politicians to make mistakes I think in such cases only foreign coaches can do the job well well here means at least free handedly which is the bearest minimum a coach can hope for

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Mar 15, 2008

It is absurd to think an African coach can't do well at the world stage. How would you measure that unless you give them multiple opportunities and adequate support stuctures. Even when an African coach does the work and qualifies a team, a European coach is brought in to complete the job and get the credit, often with greater respect. For instance, Keshi qualified Togo for world cup but lost the job and Jules Njonga qualified the abandoned Lions of Cameroon for CAN 08 and also lost the job, just to name a few. African problem is that we want a quick fix and would not set long term realistic goals and invest in the game. Africans can do better but first we need leaders who can give the coaches adequate time conscious resources they need to prepare for and achieve success at any footballing stage. You can't use fire brigade approach (a common African phenomenon), and expect some great results even with Sir Alex Ferguson as the coach. Well, the reason is that African leaders try to use football success as a sociopolitical hypnotic.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Mar 15, 2008

Much as support Sepp Blatter's comment on Vogts
The Nigeria FA should be blamed for signing a contract that allows Vogts to stay outside the country to the detriment of his function.
It is also a fact that Africa has produced some coaches who have twinkled within the "African contest". Never the less i will support the hiring of a any coach based on perfornance rather than the colour of his skin. Stretching my arguement a bit further,if you want a choach that will not be pushed around or unduely influenced by the politicians,then i will outrightly go for an European(white) coach that has a good track record and is ready to understand the footballing culture of his host country.

add comment | complain about this comment

Comment on this article

Sorry, you can only contribute to 606 during opening hours. These are 0900-2300 UK time, seven days a week, but may vary to accommodate sporting events and UK public holidays.


Rate Breakdown

  • 5 66.67%
    2 votes
  • 4
    0 votes
  • 3 33.33%
    1 votes
  • 2
    0 votes
  • 1
    0 votes

average rating:
4.33 from 3 votes