Nwankwo Kanu has held the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) leadership responsible for Nigeria’s failure to qualify for two consecutive Africa Cup of Nations.
Nigeria’s loss in Egypt ruled Super Eagles out of contention for Gabon 2017, leaving Kanu upset with the NFF.
“What is happening with Nigerian football is that the top management is not what it is supposed to be so what is below is being affected,” Kanu told BBC Sport exclusively from Uganda.
Ex-Arsenal forward Kanu was in Uganda as an ambassador for both Unicef and Chinese cable station TV StarTimes, helping to market Ugandan players to the Chinese Premier League.
He said the Nigeria Federation has to change its style of leadership if Nigeria are to achieve success.
“When the head is not right, even your body won’t be right”, said Kanu.
The two time African footballer of the year said it was a huge loss for Nigeria – who also failed to qualify for Equatorial Guinea in 2015 – to miss another Africa Cup of Nations.
“When we are not at the Nations Cup, it’s not the same,” said Kanu.
Kanu also highlighted the instability surrounding Nigeria coaches.
Samson Siasia was placed in temporary charge of the Super Eagles for the Egypt qualifiers following the resignation of Sunday Oliseh.
As the NFF search for a permanent successor to Oliseh, Kanu maintained it is worth persisting with a local coach.
“Look at Stephen Keshi, he won the nations Cup and led the Super Eagles to the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil,” Kanu explained.