Former NFA scribe, Sani Toro has said that a new Nigeria Football Association board under his leadership would pursue modernisation, infrastructure and playersâ€™welfare.
He said, â€œOur modernisation agenda would cover every facet of our football that has long been neglected or has decayed and no longer fit for purpose in our age
Toro looked at the falling standard of the Nigerian national team, saying that since its first appearance at the FIFA World Cup, the team had witnessed a systematic decline both in content and performance..
â€œThe national teams of any nation should be the pride and glory of that nation. In our case, football is not just our love it has become a religion. Our National teams (especially our Super Eagles) in most cases have not lived up to the aspirations of the people of this country since after 1988.
On what to do to improve the fortunes of the team, Toro insisted that â€œthe New NFF would ensure that only those who merit the jersey would be given the opportunity to wear them, and this applies to all the national teams.â€
He gave hope for the home-based players as he said, â€œthe era of big names from big clubs and leagues is gone; not with the dismal outing at the recently concluded World Cup in South Africa.â€
The former Bauchi state commissioner for sports and former member of the House of Representatives believes that no country raises a strong national team without a functional technical department.
Said he, â€œWe would establish a new post within the Technical Department called Director of Football Development. The DoFD would be responsible for the management of the new NFF National Football Centre (part of which is the FIFA Goal Project).
He saidÂ NFF football development programme for the men and women U21, U19 with the boys and girls _ U17, U15, U13, U11 and U9 teams. This, he believed would check the recurrent issue of age cheat.
Toro also frowned at the quality of Nigerian coaches as he craved for improved technical capacity of the coaches through training and retraining.Â He said, â€œwe have identified that the quality of our coaches at the grassroots level is responsible for the incomplete production of professional footballers.
I have always asked myself this question: why does it take Nigerian players and African players in general several years more than their counterparts from advanced football nations to become complete and well rounded players? The answer, I believe is down to the quality of coaching.â€
The Nigeria Premier League board would enjoy independence from a Toro-led NFA board. â€œHe submitted that all areas of the league would be modernised.
â€œThe new NFF is aware of the relationship between the NPL and the English Premier League. We believe that we have not gotten much to show in terms of the current situation of the league from this relationship.
The Executive Director, Domestic Competitions would be charged to work independently with the Executive Board and management team of the league to achieve our vision for the league,â€Toro submitted.
He also spoke on playersâ€™ welfare, the place of referees in the scheme of things and all stake-holders.
Some of Toroâ€™s achievement while he was Secretary General of NFA include Eaglesâ€™ at the
African Nations Cup, Tunisia 1994, First Super Eagles World cup appearance, U.S.A 1994,
: Won Olympic Football Gold at Atlanta 1996. Golden Eaglet Won Gold at the Maiden CAF/UEFA Maiden Cup, Lisbon Portugal 1997, : Super Eagles Second World Cup appearance, France 1998 among others.