Jay Jay Okocha: Nigerian Legend Worried About Lack of Flair in African Football

Jay Jay Okocha: Nigerian Legend Worried About Lack of Flair in African Football

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at December 26, 2023 at 7:29 PM
  • Jay-Jay Okocha feels there's no flair in African football
  • The Nigerian icon was one of the masters of flair during his playing days
  • There has been conversations about how football has become boring due to a lack of flair players like Okocha

Nigeria legdnd Jay-Jay Okocha is concerned about the decline of flair in African football.

The ex-PSG star is considered one of the best African players of all time. He is famous for his flamboyance and swagger on the ball during his playing days.

Jay-Jay Okocha, Nigeria, AFCON, Bolton, PSG
Jay-Jay Okocha is one of the most exciting players in football history. Photos by Nigel French/EMPICS and Simon Bellis - PA Images.
Source: Getty Images

During his playing days in the 1990s and 2000s, Africa boasted some of the best players in the world. George Weah, Roger Miller, Rashidi Yekini, Abedi Pele Ayew, Nwankwo Kanu, Sammy Kuffuor and many others played for some of the best clubs in the world.

Okocha's comments echo those made by fans on social media about the decline of flair and excitement in football. Bolton Wanderers had a chant about the Nigerian, which goes, "Jay-Jay Okocha, the man was so good they named him twice”, per These Football Times.

Okocha's generation had the likes of Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo Nazario, Dennis Bergkamp, Roberto Carlos, Kaka, and others were incredible during his playing days not for their goals but for their swagger on the pitch.

Okocha on flair decline

In an interview with SABC, Okocha expressed concerns about the decline of flair and passion in African football, saying most players are now going for money.

"I believe we’re witnessing a decline in the distinctive African flair in football. Present-day players seem to be prioritising financial gains over on-field performances."
"The current trend places money at the forefront, with passion taking a back seat in today’s football landscape. We lack that essential element as a continent."

Some of Africa's best players now lack the flair Okocha is referring to. Football may be changing with the times. Some have mentioned Neymar as the only footballer with the flair at the moment.

Okocha backs Mosimane for Super Eagles' job

Sports Brief also previously reported on Okocha backing Pitso Mosimane as worthy of taking over the national coaching role at the Super Eagles.

Nigeria's incumbent, Jose Peseiro has divided opinion and should he not have a successful Africa Cup of Nations, could find himself out of the job.

Mosimane has been linked with every vacancy south of the Mediterranean and few international appointments come with more pressure and prestige.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.