Former Chelsea defender Celestine Babayaro has said that while he welcomes ex-players being involved in Nigeria coaching set-up he questions Joseph Yobo’s credentials. His comments come after his former international team-mate and ex-Everton star Yobo was appointed as assistant coach of the Super Eagles two weeks ago. Babayaro, who won an Olympic gold medal with Nigeria at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, said any such appointment must be backed by requisite qualifications. The duo were in the Nigeria squad at both the 2002 World Cup and two years later at the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
“From my point of view as an ex player I think he is a good appointment probably done in a wrong way,” the 41-year-old, who is now an agent said. “I’m not sure if he’s got his badges but if you are trying to appoint someone you make sure they’ve got the right credentials before you appoint them. “I don’t care if it’s an ex (player) or whoever, make sure you appoint the right person that knows the job. “Yes Joseph Yobo has been a captain for Nigeria and he has done well, if you want to give him that sort of position make sure he gets the right badges. “If he hasn’t got his badges send him somewhere. It takes a few months or less than a year. “Get the right badges, get the right papers and make him whatever you want to make him.” Yobo’s appointment divided opinion when it was made with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) coming out to defend its choice of assistant for Gernot Rohr. “The concept behind this is to nurture and condition former captain Joseph Yobo to provide leadership and mentorship for the young team,” NFF boss Amaju Pinnick said at the time. Babayaro also questioned the discipline of African international sides when it comes to challenging at the highest level. “If you talk about (winning) the World Cup it will take a long time,” he insisted. “Don’t forget I used to play for the national team of Nigeria, the difference is massive. For some reason our African teams are not as disciplined as the European sides and this is me being honest. “I have seen the way the Europeans do their things. The discipline is so different. “For us to be able to win the World Cup it will take a while unless if we get our act right before we can see a World Cup coming to Africa.” Despite a lack of success at the World Cup African sides have twice won the men’s football tournaments at the Olympics, including when Babayaro won the title with Nigeria in 1996, four years before Cameroon claimed gold. Babayaro, who also played for Belgian side Anderlecht and England’s Newcastle United, says it is different at youth levels, with the men’s events at the Olympics limited to under-23 teams with the addition of up to three overage players. “The Olympics is the Olympics, the youth competitions are the youth competitions – it’s nothing like the grade A level which is the World Cup,” he explained. “The World cup is a different ball game, different animal. To be able to win that, it takes a lot of things to come together. You can’t have half and half. “Everybody has to be on point. From the federation we need to stop hearing these things when you are in camp that this person has not been paid his wages or salaries or his bonuses things like that. “You never hear this on the European side so that’s why I am saying they need to get their acts right before a World Cup can be achieved.”
Celestine Babayaro (number 3) and Joseph Yobo (number 2) played alongside each other for Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea