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Moving Ahead, Looking Back

By Ikeddy Isiguzo
IT is not possible to move ahead when we have not determined past issues that affect our sports, moreso football, which tends to hold us down with all the indifference with which we run it.

As Angola winds down, it may be necessary to imagine the uproar that would follow when the competition is finished. Hopefully, this time, it would not be the usual gas that those who have failed in their assignments generate to keep the public busy, while they move to other things.

No matter at what stage the Eagles get in the competition, it is certain that the result would not satisfy Nigerians, especially those who think that Amodu’s Eagles should be replaced, coach and all  according to the proponents of this positions, these Eagles cannot fly.

With eyes on the World Cup that is only five months away, they see that the chances of the Eagles are limited. What were those chances supposed to be?

How are we going to move ahead when there is nowhere to move? Those asking for a change seem to have forgotten a few things, some of which I would repeat.

There is no football going on today. It is not a new development. The years that were wasted in taking the glory for the work others did, decades ago, are telling on us. The cosmetic work we celebrated in the past two decades has produced nothing.

I had thought the Nigeria Football Association, NFA, and those who have imposed the current state of affairs on our football should have been thinking of ways of getting us out of where we were stuck. |

On the contrary, they are doing their best to ensure their interests that becloud football are intact. The indications are that the current leadership of our football wants to remain in office, without any meaningful results, nor a reason to do so, other than they seem it as a right.

The efforts that are being made to see that there are no changes in our football are immense. The chances that the present situation would endure are evident. Nigerian football has fallen into the hands of those who think of themselves alone, not even football.

We do not understand them, they do not understand us either because the interests are not the same  rather the interests of the NFA in football are limited by the narrow perspectives of selfishness that the administrators have brought to their job.

Anyone who thinks of the future of the game would always think about the youth. The future of the game, in that direction, is dead. Where are the players who would replace the ageing ones?

I hear all types of speculations about the sources of these new players  the schools and the others from the various players we fielded in age grade competitions.

The future lies in open admission that we have cheated over the years. After that stage, it would be easier to confess that we need to re-build our football, including administration, from the scratch. The structures in existence are too fragile to sustain any serious venture.

Success at whatever level would demand a lot of hard work, which today’s administrators, satisfied with the trapping of office, are unable to give. The rat race for whatever they can get out of the game for themselves has cost them concentration, and deservedly respect from the players, the public and particularly sponsors.

We cannot move ahead without clearing issues that have fixated our football in the past. We glow too much is so called achievements that include using over-aged players for age grade competitions and expecting that they would be the future of our football.

The muted celebration of the team that finished second in the FIFA U-17 World Cup last October is the beginning of the admission that we have cheated, for sometime. We have to do more if we are to move  we have to clear the stable of those, who promote cheating as an instrument in our football.

It would not be easy dislodging their tentacles that spread to the leagues, selection of national team players, and massive looting of resources that accrue to sports. In a new year, we should be seen as ambitious enough to do things differently, for good.Everyday the current NFA stays in office extends the agonies.

WHEN the Nigeria Football Association returns from Angola it should concentrate on matters that should build the country’s football. The emphases on competitions leave no rooms to plan for the future of the game. We are stuck with football administrators who step off the plane and are boarding another one for another event.

ARE we aware that the Commonwealth Games would still hold in October? There are no signs that any of the associations that would take part in the Games are preparing.

Are we waiting to lament again after the team fails to bring in the honours?
THE $236,000 that has been missing from the NFA last March should get more attention now that the NFA needs lots of resources to conclude its campaign for the year. The dwindling interest in recovering this money is a bad sign for all the noise about transparency.Please email comments, condemnations, or commendations to ikeddyisiguzo@hotmail.com


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