Of NFF’s Lip Devotion, Rohr’s Incompetence And Nigerian Teams’ Prospects At CAF Championship

By Daily sports on August 31, 2021

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Daily Sports, a digital all sports newspaper, since its debut seven years ago has been living up to its billing of informing, educating, entertaining and sundry which has not been faulted on falsehood or otherwise referred to as fake news, such clean bill of health so far has added to our credibility thus far.

However, the online portal would not vividly said of same for this column and her author every Monday that has been so harassed by agents of the state and powerful sports administrators which brushes with powers often occasioned by inpatient on their part as the frank analysis, views and stand point of the columnist hurts especially those of them that are always afraid of their shadows due their corrupt activities in sports.

To be honest with you, it has been worth while being on the eye of the storm sometimes as I am thought in both Journalism and Mass Communication classes such hour of thrills, drills, frills, clashes and intrigues make the practice of the noble pen pushing thick and brings to the fore its traditional and cardinal points of the pen being mightier than the sword syndrome fame.

For the records, I worked as a journalist under the strict supervision of some of the best, thoroughbred editors, dreaded masters and core professionals that brought honour, professionalism, hold, bold, fearless and respect to journalism in modern day Nigeria. I would crave your indulgence to withhold the names of these giant lecturers and editors I went through their tutelage in the great Daily Times of old under the tutelage of best editors Nigerian Journalism offered, all took place  at the then great and good old Daily Times the widest circulated, biggest and the best newspaper in sub-Saharan Africa where every best brain then in Nigeria’s old and new journalism passed through and that was where yours in sports was minted after graduation hence what I am today practicing journalism still upholding the truth despite as bad as it has been today in once upon a time noble profession.

There are still very few that have conscience, still abiding strictly within the tenets of the noble profession that helped in no smaller measure in aiding our foremost nationalists in persons of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo Hebert Macaulay, etc, which some few present day journalists dead and alive sustained until it has been regrettably brutalised and also bastardised by some of today’s practitioners via religion differences, tribal journalism, ethnic biases, cash and carry.

We will discuss these factors someday however, this week we will continue with our discussion on the steady decline of sports since 2015 that the ship of the country changed which threw up President Buhari and APC government. You will agree that sports which have served as the ray of hope and source of joy for ordinary Nigerian fans have gone under since this government via propaganda took over power. We have witnessed more of all motion, no movement being implemented by Sunday Dare, the Sports Minister.

Dare got it wrong from day one his predecessor, Solomon Dalung did when he was in charge then. Sunday Dare has worsened and polluted the whole arena with ineptitude of the worst order. Truth remains that sports in all facets have gone down the hills and so be it.

Head or tail Sunday Dare is bad news to sports thus far. Like the larger government at the federal level nothing is working even at the eleventh hour of this government, much funds are still being extended in fake news and wolf crying where there has been non all in their bid to retain power in 2023.

Now just take critical look at NFF executive committee wondering like wonderer, it could not hold down Rohr, Super Eagles helmsman to settle down and breed a team that would compete excellently in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations football summit to be hosted by Cameroun.  

The Franco-German handler is still inviting new players into a team that ordinarily is supposed to be taken shape and heading to take hold as a championship team. We very far from that as some crop of new players are already in for the forthcoming AFCON qualifier games slated for Lagos and Cape Verde. Nigeria has not had it as bad as it is present.

Yet the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF are standing by watching helplessly? I don’t know where this is coming from. No end to invitation of new players which as it looks would continue till CAF’s deadline on final day of submission of the list of players.

No planning of any sort and such would be carried into the tournament proper and as such Rohr would have room for excuses as usual. Football at the national level is nearing comatose don’t mind these flashes of performance. This is not where our football at the national team level should be. No doubt and without any prejudice, something fundamentally is wrong. Why must Nigeria continue to struggle to get her acts together in the continent’s championships, be them at the national or club side levels?

Amaju Pinnick and his lame duck executive committee members are flop. There is extent suppressing of information can go. This regime has spent and continues to spend huge sums in the media to polish its battered image but now that nothing is hidden on real thing on ground and the often super stories or falsehood of performances of NFF where there are none being peddled in the media then it would be safe to confirm that the hen is home to roost.

Nigeria is synonymous with fire brigade kind of doing things and at the end of the day nothing tangible would be achieved. It has been the lot of the country and now a template sort of. But what is so sad about this NFF regime is that it does holier than act but at the end of the day as facts are emerging it would turn out to be one of the worst.

As Nigeria is on the march again in African club competitions, one hopes and also prays that the management of the four clubs that will bear Nigeria’s flag in CAF Championships would put their thinking caps and also put their acts tightly together and post sterling performance in both levels of the competition from preliminaries to group stage then up to the finals.

I have sounded it clearly on this page that no CAF club competition is walk over nowadays. First rate teams are now fully involved in both and any team that did not prepare its self to the teeth would be booted out at the very first leg, first round of the championships be it the first tie or second tie of the championships. Therefore, the onions is on Paul Bassey-chaired Akwa United FC to ensure it practically put his house in order and foremost also ensure he puts his thinking cap and work assiduously towards taking his team far haven worked hard to win the NPFL he should also bear in mind that his team did badly during the team’s first outing in the CAF Confederation Cup some years back.

Elder Paul Bassey did so well in sports analysis and reporting and nothing and absolutely nothing must prevent him from doing same in administrative aspect of the game. After all he has been on the saddle and must have also learnt on the ropes. Nothing stops the clubs chairmen representing the country from reaching out on each other to compare notes. There should be synergy amongst them on this national assignment. For instance, what is left for Enyimba International to be won for the first time in the continental club level is CAF Confederation Cup

Once there is near perfect recruitment of players in all departments strong and imaginative including sound technical bench then the issue would be half solved as the team takes it from there. Let me say here that there won’t be problem of funding as the Governor Udom Emmanuel’s highly performing government would be equal to the task in this national assignment.

So goes to Rivers United led by veteran coach Stanley Eguma. He knows the terrain so well that he would never be reminded of the needful that would adequately sustain his wards in the first tie of CAF club championship that would parade strongest teams in African club football.

Eguma knows the tradition of this competition where only the fittest survive and till date Enyimba International FC remains the only Nigerian side to win it back to back. With the usual strong backing of very tactical chief executive of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike whose appetite for performance knew no bonds and he would as he has always  finance the team heavily to go all out and coast home victoriously.

The CAF Confederation Cup Enyimba International team has carved for herself a recurring decimal status in the centennial club football is aware the intrigues, politics, frustrations, etc, that no team in this category of the competition is a no body. The management led by Felix Anyansi Agwu won’t have any excuse whatsoever not to tackle this assignment head on. There are lots of money coming from the sale of Emmanuel Anayo, money coming from CAF as royalties for reaching the quarter finals in last CAF Confederation Championship. The team competed in both championships last term and would be in best position to tell itself the home truth.

Let me anchor on Enyimba International FC because the side remains the most exposed and experienced amongst the Nigerian teams in this year’s race and so knows what to do. Bayelsa United FC the last but not the least have lot to learn and must do so quickly learn in order not to be left out.

The team though in the National League if the recruitment to fortify the side is well directed no doubt it will not find itself in tight corner. It won’t be a tea party for them and any other team for that matter. Bayelsa State Governor Duoye Diri is a sporting Governor and would leave nothing to chance to support the team to the fullest.  The Governor showed the kind of attachment he has for sports, players and officials when the State won Challenge Cup both men and women one is aware the number one citizen of Bayelsa State knew he is equal to the task and the management of Bayelsa United to ensure that it will do all that are in the right direction to sustain the team in the continental scene. The question on the lips of many CAF Championship watchers is how ready the Nigerian clubs are.

We will continue to highlight and beam deep searchlight on the way forward. Like the entire polity in the country where governance has out rightly overwhelmed President Buhari and his APC cohorts, this columnist will not go to bed with his two eyes closed. Stay with the best, Daily Sports (www.dailysportsng.com). Keep shooting hard till next week as the struggle continues!!

Source Daily sports

Posted August 31, 2021


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