• African Football Federations needs professionalism, Babayaro

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  • Celestine Babayaro and Ruud Gulit faith the UEFA Champions League Trophy.(Photo:Courtesy)Celestine Babayaro and Ruud Gulit faith the UEFA Champions League Trophy.(Photo:Courtesy)
Mar 30, 2012-

Former Chelsea defender, Celestine Babayaro believes Africa can be a football power house but only if the continental federations are managed professionally devoid of divisive politics.

Babayaro who was speaking in Nairobi where he accompanied the UEFA Champions league trophy in its' tour of the East Africa said that there is a lot of talent in the continent and federation but it is not profesionally integarted into the national teams.

“There is a lot of talent in Africa, the only thing we need to do as a people our federation must employ qualified coaches who will not bring favoritism in selection of the players, but those who can perform. When the head is right the bottom will definitely be right,” added the former Nigerian international.

Babayaro who is also the UEFA Champions league trophy tour ambassador added that federation needs to put in place structure that will help in the developing players from early ages.

In reference to what was witnessed in the last African Cup of Nations where Africa football giants like Cameroon and Nigeria failed to book a ticket to the continental championships by the underdogs, former Nigerian international left back believes that African football is being re- defined.

Babayaro who was accompanied by his former coach, Ruud Gullit, tipped his former club, Chelsea to reach the UEFA champions league final and eventually lift the cup.

“Chelsea have a mountain to club but if they can go past Barcelona then I don’t see why they can’t lift the trophy. I personally never won the cup but I would like Chelsea to win it for the first time,” added Babayaro, currently a football agent in Nigeria.

Gullit, 48 who is also the UEFA champions league sponsors’, Heineken ambassador did not hide his love for the club he turned for as a player-manager in 1995 before guiding the Stamford Bridge charges to their first FA cup in 1997 saying that the current Blues boss, Roberto Di Matteo should get the job at the Bridge flowing his success at the club after Andre Vias Boas left the club last month.

“Di Matteo has done exceptionally well with Chelsea so far and I hope he will be retained as the coach. I think with his leadership Chelsea can win the cup this season,” said Gullet, who also coached Newcastle United.

The two football legends presented the champions league trophy to a group of VIPs' led by Heineken Global Director, Hans Erik and Guy Laurent Epstein UEFA Marketing Director.

On Saturday fans will have the opportunity to view the coveted cup at the Carnivore restaurant.


 Elvince Joshua

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