Nigerian Football: Miscellaneous matters

By Daily Sports on January 23, 2017

Views: 19,453

Ordinarily, the title of this write up would have been ‘Nigerian Football, Matters Arising’. However, it is the other way round in this circumstance. Football like Nigeria is decayed, perpetually on mud largely due to bad and clueless leadership. In short, it is a case of the blind leading the blind.

You are fully aware dear readers that it is our traditional here to applaud when something is done the right way. Last week, we discussed Nigeria Professional Football League, (NPFL). We pronto pointed out the strong points that would make our domestic league thick, it included a strong and no nonsense League Management Company, (LMC) that can forcefully bark and bite full blooded. The sensitisation of fans by respective clubs and the referees to be above board in their officiating no matter whose ox is gored.

We all knew what happened at the Kano Centre of match day one of the league between former champions, Kano Pillars and FC Ifeanyi Uba. It has been settled. The LMC acted promptly, saved the season and the future of the fledgling league whose confidence, fans have come to reckon with. Ifeanyi Uba, for once like a sportsman owned up the avoidable mistake of his team. Maybe, because he is nursing the ambition to contest the forthcoming Anambra State Governorship election and may not like what happened to Giwa FC last season to befall him.

The sleeping dog is lying. From reports, there is still every need for clubs to educate their fans and drum it into their ears that it is not a MUST for their teams to win at home especially, when it is obvious they did not play well. Head or tail LMC’s hammer on the culprits remains widely hailed.

Before drawing the curtain on the above, referee Folashade Ajayi is a shame. She is said to be FIFA-badged and I wonder what manner of referee she is. Her status as FIFA referee is questionable due largely to her actions and inactions. Truth is that she has fast craved for herself a controversial arbiter.

She was the woman at the centre during Plateau United/Heartland crucial last match of the season, which was to determine if Heartland would survive being in the top flight league. She was alleged to have been planted to aid MFM FC whose fate of survival depended on that game in Jos. She true to instruction by those that sent her messed up the game and nearly rubbed black on the league last season. She is from Lagos State, ordinarily not supposed to handle such a game because her state team had issues of surviving or otherwise by the outcome of that particular match in Plateau. We saw the controversies that greeted her decision which sent Heartland to the NNL. She is being used on mission by a certain big wig in Nigeria Referees Council, (NRC). Why LMC accepted her to handle an opening game where most of the people that matter in the country were present, still baffles fans and pundits of the game, yet there is no explanation.  Her stock in trade is to bring the game into disrepute. She has not disappointed at all.

I opened my mouth while reading NRC statement on her. The body sheepishly backed her nefarious act. It remains laughable how the NRC leadership gave itself out. It said it supports Ajayi. On what footing? NRC is corruption infested, it has not purged itself and so, the searchlight of LMC must be beamed deeply there, otherwise the jobbers will spoil the good work and foundation the league body is working extra hard to enthrone. There are still black legs whose caprices are ripping-off clubs managers. Suspending Ajayi is not heavy enough, she should be expelled because our league doesn’t need her likes and without any prejudice. Let’s thumb up for LMC, though, the season is still new.

Come to think of it, while the FG is bent on its resolve to continue to forcefully administer bitter pills on the citizenry with iron fists and impunity. NFF is on the other hand, muscling the game deep down by the day. The centre can no longer hold in our football. Forget the prevailing fragile peaceful atmosphere. The executive committee is sharply divided along lines. In short, there is A and B groups. Amaju Pinnick is allegedly leading a group with his two VPs.

The Super Eagles are now on break from Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Things got worse shortly after Amaju, through the back door smuggled his name in to vie for CAF executive committee election later in the year without tabling his ambition before the executive committee meeting and without the approval of the Federal Government.

Both happenings in the polity to say the very least, remain saddening and call for deep sober reflection of the first order.

While FG is disobeying Court orders, NFF is busy fighting Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung for daring to know how FIFA grants to Nigeria are being spent. The most unfortunate is that FIFA is busy covering Amaju Pinnick’s tracks and pretending it is exposing his led federation for improper utilisation of its grants. FIFA’s double standard is a threat. It’s pact with him is more than meets the eye. If you like wonders shall never end!

He has been cleared to contest for CAF executive committee election seat without being cleared by our Federation’s executive committee and without the Federal Government’s endorsement. He is home and dry, leaving the NFF worse than he met it. In the days when men were men in the Sports Ministry and in the executive committee level, Amaju won’t sail through because he failed to follow due process. The Minister, Solomon Dalung has turned himself into a laughing stock for holding tight talk before thinking. No one takes his pronouncements seriously. If he is from a certain section of the country, it would have been safe to say he is always under the heavy influence of alcohol which is like a way of life there.

Amaju dismissed with a wave of the hand, Dalung’s assertion that the Federal Government has not decided on CAF executive committee member candidate. At the end of the day, Amaju laughed last, and was confirmed for the election.  Dalung kissed the dust. The man from the plateau does not know Amaju is a fox well entrenched in dirty football politics. But the Minister heard how Amaju from nowhere emerged as the supremo of NFF. I guess, Dalung was in the country then, maybe not keen in sports cum football, but was accidentally drafted to head it. Amaju is one of the people trained by a certain former administrator in the act of going all out to grab what you want no matter how; the end must justify the means.

I have been asking who advises Dalung. He has always been beaten and bruised by very influential deep pocket Amaju Pinnick. It has never happened in recent history in my two decades and five sports reporting. I have not failed to describe the sorry sight as the shame of Dalung, his brainless and clay footed advisers.

It is why Amaju waxes stronger and stronger. FIFA again, the other day openly slighted CAF President, Dr. Issa Hayotu and appointed Amaju into a higher committee only meant for CAF senior men. For your information, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino has an agenda against the old order in CAF and Amaju is believed to be one of the people lined up to bell the cat upon their election into CAF executive committee seats. He is not alone in this alleged undertakers job. Watch out!

Amaju, as the nation’s Federation President is not one for that FIFA committee position. FIFA has agenda in CAF and the forthcoming election will set the tone. We knew the antecedents of Amaju in this kind of rough-rough politics. It is politics of rub my back, I rub yours. Nigeria is deep rooted in such and that is why FIFA leadership has found a willing duck in him.

He has committed serious blunders that ought to have cost him his NFF position, more than why Ibrahim Galadima was hooded out of his seat when he failed to qualify Nigeria for Germany 2006 even though his alleged statement that World Cup is not our birth right. FIFA even aided NFF executive committee members to impeach most resourceful and agenda setting and based administration led by Sani Lulu Abdullahi for alleged hotel issues in South Africa during the World Cup 2010.

Yet, Amaju has been on despite many burning issues that have brought the game down and FIFA even lend credence to the reckless spending nature of the body without keeping records. FIFA has zero tolerance for corruption yet, it fans Amaju’s embers. It is sad that FIFA resorted to using Pinnick and others as tools to settle scores in CAF, thereby bringing our football on its knees.

Amaju is a politician with tall ambition and appetite for FIFA executive committee seat. He has the money to pursue it vigorously and head on. Our football is failing under his watch; the only hope is the World Cup 2018 qualifiers. Nigerians are praying fervently that the Super Eagles would maintain their firm group leadership grip.

Football in Nigeria under this NFF is a tale told by an idiot. Anyhow, I won’t relent to expose them and being on their bad book as ordinary stupid and bloody reporter, which I will readily respond to: Na today? Discussion continues boo. Keep shooting hard, till next week!!   

Source Daily Sports

Posted January 23, 2017


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