The Shame of NFF

By Daily Sports on July 25, 2016

Views: 5,316

As you read this, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, arrived the country on (Sunday) to begin a sort of fact finding tour on what has been happening to the nation’s football. He will then put heads together with the parties to discuss and resolve areas of conflict that have been the lot of the game since the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil and the NFF Warri congress that threw up Amaju Pinnick and his men which, of course, has lingered till this moment, and proffer lasting solutions.

Welcome, FIFA supremo! We believe your initiative will heal the wounds and stead us once again on the path of peace which remains the only panacea for growth. I digress.

No doubt, the country is in war against herself which, analysts fear if concrete and urgent steps are not taken in the nearest future, will fast tilt towards the brink of collapse.

Again, a school of thought has described the Federal Government’s attitude towards tackling the anomaly head on as an ill-wind its dust would envelope the nation like locusts. They are fallouts of Buhari’s high handed military dictatorship, one sided appointments, anti-corruption noise, clueless and threatening economic steps that have snuffed life out of many citizens.

It is obvious that we have many walking corpses on the streets now than when he first came to the scene via coup in December 1983. His obnoxious footsteps so far has affected all facets of the polity. I digress.

This week again, the Nigeria Football Federation is in the news for the wrong reason. Fact is, yes, no time has it made headlines for its feats. Sadly, it is either conflict within the Football House or none-performance.

The House which craved for itself a notorious habitat of commotion true to type did not disappoint when it displayed its incompetence and lack of administrative acumen on the way and manner it handled the employment of a foreign technical adviser for the Super Eagles, when in one breathe, it announced to the nation and the international community that it has engaged French man, Paul Le Guen and in another disowned the former Cameroonian handled. What a comedy!

It showed in all ramifications the height of ineptitude, a clear indication of lack of institution of due process in their assignment in the first place, before its afterthought and lame duck excuse that it dumped the respected gaffer.

Simply, the body shot itself on the leg. It once again brought to the fore huge international ridicule which reduced the country to mere bundle of unserious and naive administrators. In short, it can safely be likened to a case of a nation never ready to mend its old and twisted ways. The other angle from Le Guen’s agent that emphatically said he rejected Nigeria.

The recent shame was a product of Paul Bassey a veteran Sports Journalist who turned a puppet or is it an errand person to both Amaju and Green. My worry is when Bassey started sports business, Green had not started following his father who was fond of him to referees meetings in Port Harcourt and Amaju, I’m sure was still a kid. Suddenly, Bassey became their town crier upon their incurable attitude of snubbing people even when there was no need for it.

He was on Radio to announce hoax to Nigerians who the new coach of the Eagles was. After denial of the offer by Le Guen, Sulaiman Kwande, a member of the House of Representatives and Chairman, Media Committee of NFF came to deny any knowledge of appointment of a Coach.

My questions are:

1. Where were Pinnick and Green when Bassey was making the announcement?

2 Whose duty is it to make such announcement - Amaju, Green, Bassey or Kwande?

4. The official statement by Ademola Olajire on the appointment of the new coach, was it also an error?

5. Could Le Guen have denied the NFF when there was an offer?

6. Where is the recording of the phantom SKYPE interview?

7. Could the media be wrong after announcing several times that the three shortlisted Coaches will be interviewed at the secretariat of the NFF on Monday?

8. Why did clever Green refuse to make the announcement himself?

9. Why is it that the claim by Amaju that they have secured sponsorship from an anonymous oil firm for the coach’s salaries remains a secret that Nigerians must not be told?

10. What happened to the clause that the recommendations of a committee must be sent to the executive board for approval; was there any major decision that the NFF handled shabbily this way; Was late Keshi's sack or Oliseh's appointment etc ever recommended and sent to the executive committee for endorsement?

It is a shame that Kwande the newest recruit further fuelled the daylight embarrassment. Questions, questions no answers.

It turned out to become additional humiliation trying to do a damage control only to commit more slip-ups. Nigeria is again in a mess for another wrong reason.  An alert; any Nigerian that believes in NFF does so at his or her own risk. The deficit is so dripping.

Truly speaking, my heart went out for the entire NFF. I became sympathetic, on the premise of what I termed the burden of leadership. However, the reporter in me has not helped matters, the more I tried to suppress and refrain myself from commenting on this Le Guen misnomer, the very more pressure from conscience, unrestricted calls and messages from readers of this column kept me on the edge and on the spot too.

Head or tail, the apex Football governing body leadership needs our prayers in time like this. Close followers of the game knew it is not normal time for the beautiful sport here at the moment.

We should prop up criticisms that would propel them come out in flying colours in their next task. What has happened does not prompt the demanding of their heads. We should rather realise that we are human and are bound to make mistakes; more important, being to quickly rediscover, retrace our steps and put things in proper perspective. That is a way of life.

It is my belief that the technical committee judging from the kind of intellectuals that peopled the setup, will deliver resoundingly. I should not be mistaken to be speaking for the NFF. Most of what you are reading now are candid views from the readers of Sports Pulse. They pleaded their views see the light of the day, which of course is one of the maxims of Journalism.

NFF became the shame of Nigeria. It further exposed both the Green led technical committee to lack of doing proper planning, homework and alleged ulterior motive on the foreign technical adviser agenda.  How on earth would a body made up of such caliber of men from diverse backgrounds involve in grave and silly blunder in the 21st century mode of employment.

To be honest with you, their actions and inactions beat me hands down maybe because I have some of them as friends and great performers in their various callings. It sort of blind folded me as I was closely following their said genre of engaging an expatriate that would return the fortunes of the team in no distant time.

As I did say, most of them have concrete footing in the game either as ex-internationals or have handled football clubs and even Eagles, some proven professionals and analysts of great note.

But shamefully, they faltered, wobbled and fumbled in the important national assignment as they did when they unanimously brought half-baked Sunday Oliseh to handled very glitzy Nigerian side. The ex- international apart from being overwhelmed, saw, frightened and ran away.

One thought they must have learnt one of their utmost lessons, but no way. For the records, Youth and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung right from the onset adviser against the employment of a foreign technical hand.  Now that things have gone astray, Dalung would be beating his chest and laughing heartily laud at these confused set of executives and technical committee that are into the ditch.

The Minister’s sidon look is pregnant.  The swift move to confirm other appointments already know in the public domain, it was to send signal that something is happening after the kite flown by the technical committee on Paul Le Guen failed woefully to fly.

Let me confess that I don’t have anything against the decision to go for a foreign technical adviser if we can afford it. It is needed, the Eagles rating is at the lowest ebb. The man would serve as a stabilizing factor and boost the confidence of the players who are mostly young and new in the squad.  Personally, I voted for it. My take is that the process of getting one must be devoid of ambiguities that would cast bad aspiration on the image of the game and the country.  

It is my candid belief that Green has the men once beaten, will now logically cap this exercise without any hassle, thereby setting the tone of our football back on the part of steadfastness and rapid growth. That is the battle cry of Nigerians whose darling team’s fortunes have been on fast decline and near extinction, and it is a legitimate request and expectation.  No more, no less!               

•Victor Enyinnaya can be reached via 08055068145 (sms only) or by e-mail via sportzvictor@yahoo.com.au

Source Daily Sports

Posted July 25, 2016

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