By Patrick Omorodion
Despite the Super Eagles qualification for the 2010 World Cup and the hiring of a Technical Adviser for the team by the Nigeria Football Association, NFA, the supervisory body for sports in the country, the National Sports Commission, NSC appears unsatisfied with the administration and development of the game here.
The first step the NSC took to ensure that football, which has assumed a huge national passion for the citizenry regains its pride of place nationally and internationally, was when the Sports Minister/Chairman of the NSC, Engineer Sani Ndanusa drafted the Director-General of the commission, Chief Patrick Ekeji to be part of the panel which looked into the appointment of a technical adviser to lead the Eagles to the World Cup in South Africa.
â€œThe minister directed that I join the panel to screen the coaches for the Eagles because we donâ€™t want to sit back and watch things go wrong because the NSC as the supervisory organ for sports in the country will always be blamed when things go wrongâ€, Chief Ekeji said at a forum in Abuja.
With the assignment concluded, the NSC, as Chief Ekeji hinted recently in Abuja, has concluded arrangement to begin the second process to re-direct football administration, which many Nigerians have blamed for the stagnation or decline of the sport, with a national conference to address the twin problem of â€œAdministration and Developmentâ€ hampering the growth of the game.
During the week, the NSC caused to be placed in some national dailies, an advertorial on a two-day conference which will hold in Abuja on March 24 and 25 with â€œpapers to be presented by erudite/eminent personalities in football management and administration drawn from within and outside Nigeriaâ€.
The NSC, though did not give the names of the resource persons for the conference with the theme â€œEnhancing Football Management and Development in Nigeriaâ€, is expecting experts on the game from various bodies such as FIFA, NFA, NFL as well as the body of professional footballers, among many others.
With the conference coming way ahead of the election into the NFA Board, an agenda for a new crop of well grounded football administrators is likely to be set, more so as Nigerians are clamouring for a change of guard at the much vilified â€˜Glass Houseâ€™ which Sani Lulu Abdullahi presently leads.
Already some Nigerians have oiled their arsenals for the election which is expected to be the most interesting in the history of the game in Nigeria.