Former Enyimba International FC of Aba midfielder, Mouritala Ogunbiyi, says players no longer have respect for the game of football, hence the reason Nigerian club sides are not doing well on the continent.
The 38-year-old professional football player disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin on Thursday.
Ogunbiyi, who won the CAF Champions League back to back with Enyimba in 2003 and 2004 respectively, said many of the players these days believe football is easy hence the reason they are disrespecting the game.
“Now, they think football is easy, they think money is easy to make; those days, there is no money like this in football.
“The respect for football is not the same again, players don’t respect the coaches, supporters and football itself again.
“Players don’t care about cautions (yellow card) again, they play anyhow and get booked unnecessarily because there is no respect for the game,” Ogunbiyi said.
He also said many of them do not even care that football is a big business, explaining that players need to work very hard and pray to make meaningful impact with the game.
The Nigeria-born Beninese player who now ply his trade with an amateur side, Ottasolo FC of Ogun, said the owner of the football club only invited him to come and help the players to grow.
He said the owner of Ottasolo is a man who is helping old players and at the same time giving the youths an avenue to become professional superstars.
“I am not here to play 90 minutes all the time, I am only here to help the players with my experience.
“My position here is to help tell the players what is football and help grow their career professionally,” Ogunjobi said.
NAN recalls that Ogunbiyi was part of the Beninese 2004 African Nations Cup team, who finished bottom of their group in the first round of competition, thus failing to secure qualification for the quarter-finals.
Whilst at Guingamp, then in Ligue 2, Ogunbiyi played as a substitute in the 2009 Coupe de France Final in which they beat Rennes. (NAN)