Last week, we x-rayed the views expressed by former chairman of the Nigeria Football Association, NFA, Mr Anthony Kodjo Williams on the current state of football development in Nigeria.
Reactions to that piece have been so robust ,hence our decision to share some highlights to further add impetus to Kodjo’s submissions.
Here we go:
Kodjo is like the lengendary Fela Anikulakpo Kuti, he arrived before his time, Very visionary and passionate. Unfortunately, the cabal that has always held our football hostage couldn’t allow him execute his programmes.
The former NFF boss was spot on. The current leadership of NFF has demonstrated lack of interest in developing our local league. If only they can show same zeal they have for sourcing for sponsorship.-Ibe Emeribe.
Amaju Pinnick as an individual , has passion for the game. He means well for our football,but like President Buhari, he appears to be alone. I don’t think most of his board members are with him. Or is he the one that is not carrying them along?
Kodjo’ s greatest undoing is his arrogance. He walks and talks with an air of superiority. In that kind of situation it’s difficult to be a team player. No matter how brilliant your ideas are, you don’t look down on those you are supposed to work with. He can still get another opportunity to implement his plans for Nigerian football if he comes down to the same level with those around him.
The problem with the local league is poor officiating. Most of the referees have no other job apart from handling matches. The situation doesn’t allow them to resist bribes and gratifications . In other climes , referees have well paid jobs and only take refereeing as a hubby. The moment we can adopt same here , officiating will improve. It’s difficult for a jobless person to resist inducements in whatever form.
The problem with our local league is the fact that those who manage the league think they are too big to take orders from the leadership of the NFF. It’s an ego problem. The way they operate clearly shows there is a parallel body running our football. I can’t see Pinnick calling Shehu or Nduka Irabor to order or the other way round. We have to cope with this situation for a long time to come.
The home based players have no future in the senior national team. The leadership of NFF is busy begging every Europe- based player with Nigerian root to come and play for the national team. Some of them, trust me are not better than the so-called home-based. By the way , why is Gernot Rohr not in Morocco? We are paying lip service to developing our football at home.
The call for the scrapping of the National Institute for Sports is long overdue. Until last week when “Massive Attack” mentioned it , most Nigerians had forgotten that such Institution still exists. It’s not only moribund but totally lacking in its responsibilities. Most parts of the building have been taken over by reptiles while some people have even alleged some rooms are being used for ‘short time’runs .
The problem with NIS is not different from what public institutions in Nigeria are facing.what is the fate of the National Stadium complex as a whole?. Government should hands-off the ownership and running of the institution for it to regain its lost glory if it will ever do. Such professional and specialized institutions are better run by private individuals.
Kodjo is assuming we still have a ministry of sports that is functioning. Truth is the Ministry of Sports is as moribund as NIS. It’s only existing in name and in mind of the beret- wearing minister. All known sports development programmes, aimed at discovering talents have been jettisoned and can never be resuscitated under this minister. What has happened to the National Sports festival, Track/ Field competitions, Zonal campings, scholarships for Nigerian athletes in schools, under- age competitions etc. The recent elections into Sports Federations have created more problems than they were ment to solve.
Fan, there’s so much infighting going on inside the Glass House. Some members are claiming that their lives are being threatened. We may not know the cause of all these unless you are an insider. The reconstituted NFF Committees are not based on merit but rather a clear indication that all is not well. A member claimed recently that assasins were sent after him. We are watching the unfolding drama.
Kodjo is right in his assertion that NFF has abdicated its responsibilities. I think Amaju Pinnick has done well for himself and has also made Nigeria to take its rightful place in continental and global football matters. But the home front is suffering from lack of attention. For instance, one would have expected the reforms being championed by Pinnick and his group to be replicated back home in Nigeria.
What is the state of affairs at the various State Football Associations? Most of them are moribund, only existing in pockets of sit-tight chairmen and their cohorts. Can’t the NFF think of how best to revive the ailing state FAs if we are serious about grassroot football development. I can tell you that all attention is now on who goes to Russia and the next election into the board of the NFF.
Why are we focusing on the NFF, and the sports Ministry alone. An active press should be an integral part of Sports development. What is the role of the Nigerian sporting press in the general decay in the sports sector . Have we forgotten how the likes of SO, SB, Bisi , Mitchell, Paul Bassey, Isiguzo, Muyiwa, Fabio, Onochie, Mumuni etc , kept our sports administrators on their toes. I remember the many battles between sports authorities and a vibrant SWAN under Fan Ndubuoke. Where is SWAN today? Why won’t our sports administrators go to sleep. Who is holding them accountable? Let the press lead the way and I assure you things will change for the better. –Ugwumba Iheanacho.
Tell Kodjo that Nigeria is a complex society. He came in with brilliant ideas but how long did he last. Most brilliant ideas are thrown away on the grounds of religion, ethnicity, personal aggrandizement, and godfatherism. What is the recruitment process into the board of the NFF? Is Kodjo aware that some board members who ought to come to the secretariat when the need arises have taken over offices meant for staff?. Is board membership a full time job? Things have got to change if we are to make progress. -Dandy Onuoha.
Till next week, keep attacking.