Before these musketeers empty Glasshouse

From one bizarre incident to another, Nigeria’s soccer body, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) hasn’t failed to astonish Stakeholders with backward steps geared towards moving the country’s football development to nowhere.
Based on reported agreement by NFF’s congressmen, a fresh election is around the corner.
In fact, September 20 date, set for the general football administrative poll is less than two weeks.
Like it has always been, the electoral committee of this year’s election led by Barrister Mohammed Sani Katu, already have their hands full ahead of the d-day.
As at the last time I checked, incumbent President Amaju Pinnick, his immediate Predecessor Aminu Maigari, former General Secretary Taiwo Ogunjobi, new entrants Chinedu Okoye were among those that have strongly indicated interest to lead another set of board members in the next dispensation of NFF.
Make no mistake, these men are eminently qualified to contest the top post but varying degrees of worries have continued to permeate my cerebral space.
I believe I’m certainly not the only one cut in this web.
The reasons for my concerns are not far-fetched amidst promises which the aspirants have been dolling out day after day especially to their supposed electorates – state chairmen/Secretaries or representatives from various states expected to throng Katsina state in a matter of days.
Firstly, I’m disturbed that after four years, like a regular ritual, another election has been fixed.
And from all indication, efforts are on to see it through amidst barrage of litigations and other legal claims hanging on the Nigeria’s football fraternity.
Many including yours sincerely would have preferred a situation where long age leadership battle among the powers that be in the glasshouse is sorted out and settle once and for all before embarking on an additional move that would keep pilling several crisis witnessed in recent times and (far) past.
The idea which saw the emergence of Elders Reconciliatory Committee whilst the imbroglio between Chris Giwa and Pinnick lasted would have been allowed to materialised.
Beyond the recommendations of the committee which yours sincerely haven’t been privileged to peruse, an entirely neutral body would have later been set to temporarily manage situation after wide consultations with warring factions and perhaps organise an all inclusive election, weeks after which, everyone will be privileged to contest.
Anyway, the government of the moment via Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo had preferred a shorter cut after weeks of back and front approaches which still don’t nip the problem in the bud.
For once, a bold measure geared towards bringing over ten years of Nigeria’s football negative antiquities would have been the way out, permanently, instead of surrendering to supposed FIFA warnings.
Moving on, this week began with Pinnick and his board embarking on a ‘free-for-all’ trip to Katsina, Katsina state capital, in the name of paying a courtesy visit to Katsina state Governor Mallam Aminu Bello Maisari ahead of 2018 NFF’s election.
Sterling revelations have continued to emerge after all.
Those who should know revealed how Pinnick-led NFF embarked on that ‘mere journey’ using private jet in a movement that ordinarily is not more than 500 kilometres on the road.
This set of NFF Musketeers has been defying all odds since their controversial emergence in 2014.
Giving that all is well within the country’s soccer fold, perhaps no one would have paid attention to the option they decided to use in going to wherever they intended to be.
But for the obvious fact that these football Administrators are immersed in huge debt should have prompted a rethink on their part.
Many times, the football house has hanged inability to play their legitimate roles on lack of funds.
Agreed! They might have hired private plane from monies they contributed from their individual pockets but do they only know where their private pockets are whenever their personal aggrandisement are up? If their conscience (collectively) is still alive, they would have remembered that various National teams including under – 20 Women (Falconets) and under-17 men (Golden Eaglets) needed those cash residing in their (NFF Board members) individual pouches to buy very minute needs – pure water, headache, malaria drugs etc which team officials out of necessity bankrolled while in camp.
Falconets technical crew led by Chris Danjuma was blamed for Falconets’ quarter-final ouster from recently concluded under-20 Women World Cup by some persons but not many knew how they wriggled themselves and their Players from extremely harsh treatment before the FIFA organised tournament.
Same applies to their Golden Eaglets counterparts currently struggling to find their feet in zonal elimination quest ahead of African Youth championship later on.
Thank God, they were able to win second game in their group but gale of grassroots hangover is still haunting Pinnick and co, who have only played lip service to real development of Nigeria’s football.
Most Stakeholders haven’t forgotten how both Nigeria’s under – 17 and 20 men failed to qualify for the last editions of African tournament and subsequently, World championships last year under the current administration.
Not too long ago, under-17 Women (Flamingoes) suffered similar fate after they were rushed into camping, less than two weeks to their World Cup qualifier encounter.
All these non-qualification hoarse are taking place for the first time in recent times in a Nation in dire need of talents for future exploits.
For four years, our national teams have been turned to ‘gaming’ group.
This NFF has owed different hotels (where National teams use as camps) huge amount of monies, due to claimed paucity of funds at the federation.
Nonpayment of players and team officials’ allowances has ‘steadily’ become a way of life for them despite bogus sponsorship rackets they entered into with multinational companies.
At the moment, I pity one of those company sponsors dishing out their hard earned money in the name of funding NFF’s federation’s cup, now renamed Aiteo Cup.
The draws of this competition dully sponsored was lowered to an ordinary laughing stock some two days ago when the football federation decided in their usual way to carry it out in an obscure environment without recourse to the damage such move has done and still doing to both the image of NFF and that of the company paying for the annual national soccer event.
No one could trace what the federation has done with the company’s money following planned boycott by the Referees who has been owed since last year’s version ended months ago.
It only took intervention of some Stakeholders before they agreed to proceed with round of 64 matches.
Match Commissioners got their last year’s money not too long ago after pressure by some of their members.
Only recently too, the country’s apex league, Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) was brought to an end, abruptly with 14 matches to go.
This is also the first time ever such is happening months after same league fell out of top 12 in Africa – meaning Nigeria will only parade two teams in all African organised continental championships as against four uninterrupted teams which have been the order in the years past.
Now, as NFF edges towards another election which could continually compound lingering impasse within the Nigerian football family, congressmen must keenly make relevant evaluations beyond any partisan or inducement consideration before choosing those that would lead the federation this time around.
Let’s not forget that one thing remains paramount – and that is; no one can run away from his or her shadow.
Outside the ballot enclosure, with the antecedents at Glasshouse whenever election is about to take place, there should be intensified security watch at NFF’s headquarters (day and night) to avert strange fire which could be ignited to burn significant documents that will lead to expository relay on the activities of this NFF.
Manchester City winger Leroy Sane has left Germany’s team hotel for “private reasons” and will not be available for Sunday’s friendly with Peru.
Sane was left out of Germany’s squad for the World Cup in Russia.
However, he made a brief substitute appearance in Thursday’s Uefa Nations League goalless draw with France.
Germany tweeted on Friday that after discussions with head coach Joachim Low, “Leroy Sane has left the team hotel in Munich for private reasons”.
International team-mate Toni Kroos claimed earlier this week that 22-year-old Sane, who has made 13 senior appearances for Germany, was not fulfilling his potential and must improve his attitude.
Sane, who cost £37m plus add-ons when he joined City from Schalke in August 2016, has yet to start a Premier League game for the champions this season.
He was left out of the 18-man squad for their most recent match, a 2-1 Premier League win over Newcastle on 1 September, although manager Pep Guardiola afterwards rejected reports that he was unhappy with the player’s attitude.



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