Journalists have hijacked our job, ex-footballer Owolabi laments

Super Eagles players celebrate victory against Cameroun in Uyo, during one of the qualifying matches to the World Cup. Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr says his focus is to be with Nigeria in Russia but not returning to his former club in France.

Former Super Eagles winger, Felix Owolabi, has expressed displeasure over the attitude of journalists, who he said have taken over the role of former footballers as the sport analyst during live matches.

The home-based Eagles are currently engaged in the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) holding in Morocco, and there seem to be worries back home over their performance. However, Owolabi is of the view that the Eagles are doing their best, as most of them are debutants.

He said the former internationals would explained what the players were going through as debutants far better than the journalists, who have abandoned their role in sports and now see themselves as knowing everything.

Speaking with The Guardian, Owolabi said that former players who have seen it all should have been the one doing the job of analysing during live matches.

“These players that we have in Morocco are raw talents waiting for somebody to nurture them. But the problem we have is that most times we do not appoint the right personnel for these players where majority of them are playing in a major tournament for the first time.

“The former internationals whose views should have been sought for during a live match have now been hijacked by journalists. These media persons now combine reporting sports with the job meant other persons. This is not for the passion of the game but because of what they will get at the end of the day. I want to believe that the journalists too are also contributing to the woes of the game in the country.

“Currently, I am a retiree and I believe that I still have a lot to contribute towards the growth of the sport passionately loved by people. At times when I watch live matches of the these foreign leagues, I see ex-players, who know about the game and giving sound analysis about a match because they too have played the game to the highest level. And most times at the end of the day, you see reason to what they might have said before, half time, and at the end of the game, and this is what is obtainable all over the world.

Speaking further, Owolabi said: “Everyone can analyse but you cannot be almost as perfect as the former footballers. Journalists are supposed to ask questions and not to give analysis. That is the difference between them and ex-players in the other part of the world.

Even in South Africa, former players are the ones helping to analyse live games, not journalists. One cannot leave his job and enter into another person’s field. It does not work that way.”

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Felix Owolabijournalist


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