The news of the sponsorship deal brokered for the ailing ,moribund Federation Cup is so refreshing. The oldest football competition in the land has been on life support for decades. Successive leaderships of the football governing body seemed absolutely hopeless on what to do to bring life back to the once most glamorous football show piece in our country. But the present board of the Nigeria Football Federation has broken the jinx .
According to reports, an oil company is to bankroll the cost of organizing the competition with handsome prize rewards for the winners . It’s further understood that the winners will go home with sums of money in the region of 25 million, while runners -up will pocket about 10 million naira. This is good .
In retrospect, Heartland Football Club of Owerri, back to back champions of the competition in 2011,2012 went home with a miserable one million naira as logistics support on each occasion.
For pulling off this deal , coupled with the sponsorship of the salaries of national team coaches by the same company , we can only say kudos to the leadership of the Amaju Pinnick led NFF. This is the way to go to change the narrative in the administration of the beautiful game in our clime.
However, the challenge remains how to maximize the benefits of this new dawn to the advantage of the development of the game and the sponsors. Obviously , no corporate organization would want to associate it’s brand with scandals and embarrassing situations often associated with administration of football in Nigeria over time.
Instructively , this present board has often been accused of focusing attention more on sponsorship drive than the development and good organization of the round leather game here. But it must be stated that both areas are complimentary and must receive equal attention if our football is to be repositioned .
Particularly, NFF must take more than passive interest in the organization and running of local competitions like the leagues and the Federation cup. The soccer governing body should not be proud to be associated with local competitions that cannot produce one player for the national team.
Undoubtedly , one sour area of concern is the level of officiating and the desperation of club managers to win at all cost, especially on home grounds. Is the NFF leadership not aware that the Referees Appointment Committee is enmeshed in allegations of corruption as some members are known to be fronts for some clubs. The League management Company appears helpless because it doesn’t appoint the referees, but can’t the managers of the league , some of them part of the NFF, make a strong case for the improvement of the Premier League that is fast losing grounds?
For the Federation Cup to have a thorough rebirth and worthy winners, officiating and general organization must be top notch.
• Till next week, keep attacking.
Re: Ronaldo vs Messi
Reading your piece on the supremacy battle between Ronaldo and Messi made an interesting read. Here is my view :
The question of who is the better footballer between the two has, for quite a while, elicited strident arguments, nay quarrels between proponents and supporters of either of the duo.
That being said, I still maintain my earlier expressed view that whatever position one may elect to adopt will always be coloured by subjective considerations due to overriding personal preferences. Notwithstanding the fact that Ronaldo may have notched up some achievements which, statistically, may create the impression that he is the better player, Messi remains my personal favourite for a number of reasons. Football to all intents and purposes is for the entertainment of the spectators, and Messi’s raw talent, his ability to take on, and dismantle the defence of his opposition with seeming ease, makes him a delight to watch, and that places him head and shoulders above Ronaldo, whose advantages are mostly based on superior physical strength and speed. Numerically speaking, Ronaldo has, in total, scored more career goals than Messi as at the last count. For me, however, this is akin to our Nigerian situation in the recent past, when our economy, then adjudged the biggest in Africa, did not exactly translate to the highest per capita income for its citizens. Ronaldo has played a higher number of career matches than Lionel Messi, and has accordingly scored an absolute higher number of goals. But Messi is the more consistent scorer.
By way of explanation, using the numbers available to me, Messi statistically scores more goals per match: 565 goals in 700 appearances translates to a scoring rate of over 80%, not counting his higher number of assists; whereas Ronaldo scored 600 goals in 855 appearances, representing just over 70% rate at goal. Furthermore, Messi is more of a team player than Ronaldo, and football is fundamentally a team sport.
– Oscar Keke, a football administrator sent in his views from Owerri.
Re: Honouring Air Comdr Omeruah
Reading through “massive attack” I felt compelled to say that even if Nigerian authorities fail to appreciate and recognise Omeruah for his achievements outside his military career for whatever reason,it shouldn’t be the same story in his home state of Abia and especially Umuahia his immediate constituency.
Of all the federating states in the country today Abia State seems to be synonymous with football. In terms of talents the state is overflowing with football clubs, so why won’t our executive governor His Excellency Dr.Okezie Victor Ikpeazu dim it necessary to name Umuahia township stadium after an illustrious son,who had distinquished himself in the administration of the beautiful game.
–Imoh Godspower Azubuike, sent in his views from Lagos.
An attempt had been made though by the past administration to name a guest house around the government house after Omeruah but that does not represent what He stood for,was and known to Nigerians.The Late Air Force General was just a man of too many parts,but mere mentioning his name invokes emotions amongst football crazy Nigerians.Not many people will remember that the present location of unizik was his making, that portion borders Anambra and Enugu state and was seriously in dispute among the Waring communities hence he brokered a peace deal (as military governor of old Anambra state) that it should be turned to an university and named after another iconic and illustrious son of the Igbo extraction.,hence the return of peace to both waring communities.
Let the legacy and memories of this great Nigerian live in line with what Nigerians remember him for.It is even possible to within the stadium complex , create a museum where materials from notable football stakeholders like our iconic son can be deposited and those interested in history can go there and source for information on the way forward for our football. Omeruah had more than enough materials on the way forward for our football, mind you sir he was a scholar that earned his doctoterate degree by attending classes.
The legacies of this iconic son of Oboro in Ndioro of Umuahia must not be allowed to be eroded away by accident of history.. Even if Nigeria choose sir , not to honour him,his home state led by His excellency our amiabe governor Dr okezie Victor ikpeazu can. It
is a common adage that charity begins at home.