Former Super Eagles coach Henry Nwosu has said there are no more traditional teams in the FA Cup with newcomers FC IfeanyiUbah and Nasarawa United in the final of the oldest football showpiece in the land.
The two top-flights will square up in the 2016 Federation Cup final on Sunday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
Nwosu said the dearth of established teams in the oldest game in the land is partly responsible for the apathy and steady decline of the annual football competition.
“Of course, I’m not surprised we have debutants as finalists in the 2016 Federation Cup competition.
“Over the years there is no clear picture of who the champions will be among the competing sides.
“The cause is predictable because we do not have any longer established and traditional teams in the land.
“Aside from Enyimba you can hardly point out another team you can ascribe to as a traditional team. That’s why today any team can win the Cup competition.
“And the negative impact is there staring us in the face as we head to play the 2016 Cup final on Sunday in Lagos.
“Of course, there is nothing on the ground to tell an ardent or unsuspecting follower of the game that the final is coming up tomorrow.
“In the good old days, the build-up to the final was electrifying and on matchday the stands were filled to capacity.
“Fans almost passed the night to secure a seat while others had to be at the stadium before noon to be guaranteed of seats.
“Fans came from all the corners of the country to watch the final but today the aura and glamour has vanished.
“The absence of talented players in the domestic scene has not helped the poor situation. Then there were tens of idolised and talented stars fans looked up to but today we barely have half-baked players with no interest in the game,” said the former Golden Eaglets coach.
Nwosu however predicted victory for FC IfeanyiUbah against the Lafia landlords, Nasarawa United.
“Without sounding tribal I think FC IfeanyiUbah have what it takes to emerge winners at the end of the day.
“Their performance in the league as well as quality players in their fold showed that the pendulum will swing in their favour.
“However, that’s not to suggest it will come cheap as Nasarawa United are equally capable of ruffling feathers, too,” said the former Nigerian captain and winger.
Nwosu said the Cup winners will represent the country quite well at the Caf Confederation Cup competition.
“For both sides to have come this far in the competition means they are quite good and the winners are certainly going to represent Nigeria creditably on the continent,” said the former Gateway United coach.
The two sides are newcomers to the Cup final and the winners will fly the country’s flag in Africa’s second tier club competition, the Caf Confederation Cup.