Super Eagles legend Taribo West blasts NFF boss Amaju Pinnick for advising local-based players not to join small foreign clubs
Pinnick told NPFL players to stop joining small clubs abroad but West is not happy with the comment.
In the last two decades, there have not been more than two players who have made moves from Nigeria's top league to a top-five European club.
Instead, moves to less fancied and lower-tier leagues have been the norm, much to the displeasure of Pinnick.
Addressing the Super Eagles Team B squad-which comprises only locally-based players- before their Sunday's 4-0 friendly defeat to Mexico in Los Angeles, the NFF boss said he does not want to see the players moving to what he called 'mushroom clubs' abroad.
"We don't want to hear you joining teams in Cyprus, China or Belarus. We won't allow any agent to take you to all these 'mushroom clubs'," Pinnick told the players.
The NFF boss even further revealed that his federation would not approve International Transfer Certificate (ITC) for those moves to 'mushroom clubs'.
Reacting to Pinnick's comment, ex-Super Eagles defender West described Pinnick's statement as insensitive and embarrassing.
"You cannot keep people against their will in a league that doesn't respect them, pay them, protect them or care about their welfare," West told BBC Sport Africa.
"Such comments from the head of Nigerian football are insensitive and embarrassing. Instead of improving and focusing on developing the structures around the league, you're dictating to adults where and how to earn a living."
West, who won an Olympic Gold for Nigeria and played for AC Milan and Inter, told Pinnick to focus on solving the many problems of local football in Nigeria.
"His [NPFL] league does not pay footballers and contracts to protect the lives of footballers," West said.
"He doesn't have any power to prevent any footballer who has access to move to those clubs he described as small leagues or 'mushroom clubs'. Right now there are no small countries in football.
"We all saw from the ongoing European Championships that the so-called smaller nations are causing upsets against the bigger countries.
"It doesn't matter whether it's Albania, Luxembourg, Moldova or Georgia. Whoever gets an offer to play in these countries has the right to go anywhere they are professionally offered a contract.
"The agents or representatives of the players should fight the NFF in this battle and go where they can earn a living."
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