Saturday 17 September 2022


Biodun Alabi

Again, the battle for

the leadership of Nigeria football federation(NFF) is in the court.

This is a clearly avoidable situation,if the key personalities in this matter, had been conscious of the vanities of the fleeting glories of their ambitions placed above the good of the game.

The underpinning grouse that led to this is another desire or ambition. Life is all about ambitions....that's undeniable. But ambition,desires or interests become putrid when they are not moderated  by circumspection; when they become inordinate. This is what we have now.

The Lagos Annual General Assembly provided a soft land for the brewing crisis, but that was couched in the decision to have election into a new board on September 30.

Now, September 30 has created an Albatross - a court order stopping the election from the ex-players group which is not pleased with the electoral process. The group wants the process 'democratised' by way of statutes reform.

So, why is statutes reform such a difficult thing to do as long it's for the good of the game?  

I've listened to the first Vice president of the current board, barrister  Seyi Akinwunmi, time and time. I've also heard a few of his colleagues on the same board who are aspiring to become the next president talk about their ideas, and they come to me as qualified as anyone outside the board claims for the job. 

The state FA chairmen,who have been the trump cards in all of these, appear to me oblivious of what changes are about in humans lives. Except for inferiority complex and admitted incompetence, reforms don't sound the death knell for anyone. They open perspectives rather, and if they key in, they remain relevant in their own spaces.....even without being chairmen. 

For still being relevant to be, even for the outgoing members of the current NFF board, the ecosystem of the game has to be set on auto mode.

The auto mode naturally attracts marketing possibilities and other specific business values for the game to become a bigger pool of one or two roles and gains for everyone. 

To be direct, the business of football journalism will not thrive without a virile football ecosystem. The local game will not be on TV with its attendant financial attachments if the ecosystem is absent.  And for the aggrieved ex-footballers and other interest groups, management, coaching and capacity development jobs are waiting endlessly in the pool.

I do not want to believe the ex-players have an unbridled sense of entitlement to the NFF board, because certainly, not all of them in the group, have the cutting edge educational and intellectual capacities to be there.  All I believe they crave for is a sense of belonging .....which they rightly deserve as our past heroes.

This, I'm also convinced, won't and shouldn't be stopped by whatever geo-political zoning offices in the new board have been tailored to.

After all, has Nigeria not been governed by that since 1960?

The Nigeria football public,at home and in the diaspora, does not care about all these. It only cares about the game. It's club football's return to the days of Rangers,IICC, Bendel Insurance,  Mighty Jets, Leventis United,  Abiola Babes etc.. It wants to see the national teams fly steadily again.

The more the fear for changes in the firmament of our game are resisted, the perpetual our game remains underdeveloped.

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