Every professional athlete must have a lawyer – Victor Ezeji
*Blame club administrators for bad outings in Africa
Legendary Victor Ezeji is saddled with changing the plight of the Nigeria League players and he hope the players will learn from his experience playing in the league, he had a chat with Olayinka Elebute of www.gongnews.net on the step to take to avoid being owed by teams in the league.
What do you think is responsible for poor performance of Nigerian clubs in Africa?
Firstly, it has to do with club administrators. Most times when teams qualify for continental assignment, they tend to recruit people that don’t care about their clubs getting to the next stage. All they care about is how they can make gains for themselves. Ands that’s what we’re suffering today.
If you see the North Africans they’re always there, year in year out. It not like they’re fantastic. Our League is stronger than what they have but they know the antics and at this stage of the competition nobody cares what you do to get to the group stage but we’re not doing it. When you don’t do what you need to do and they do it, nobody cares. We’re not doing that because we don’t even know what to do.
As a player relation officer of the League Management Company, how would you rate the state of Nigerian players?
Well, everything is a work in progess. The LMC is trying to change everything about Nigerian players’ mentality. If you can see, gradually we’re getting there. So let’s just keep taking it one after the other, I’m very sure we’ll get there.
What can you say about players in NPFL who complained about being owed backlog of salaries?
I have always said it that when there’s nothing like documentation, these things will happen. Players always think they’re are smarter instead of getting a lawyer to help tidy the deals and pay maybe 5% or 10%. Engaging the lawyers is better than losing your money. I know players are difficult to deal with but I’m sure with the push by LMC, we’ll get there.
I never had issues playing football for over 20years in the league because I always engaged a lawyer and that alone put fear into the heart of those I am dealing with, so I will use this medium to appeal to league players to always get a lawyer and then the problem will be half solved.