By Ikeddy Isiguzo
IF people do not know when to resign, we are obliged to give them a little push to leave, though in some cases you can guarantee that you may push very hard to get any results. Debates over what to do with football (sports?) will leave many of us wondering what is spectacular about 2011 top make the concerns more urgent. Is it the little matter of no Nigerian team qualifying for the major ones in 2012 or falling out this year?
The tune of these calls suggest that if we qualified for the 2012 Nations Cup, have the Olympic teams in London, and the numerous age grade teams won laurels, then we would have been a great sports (football) country. Members of the Nigeria Football Association would have been on line for national honours – we would have been happy.
We deceive ourselves. Deceit helps us lose perspectives. Deceit is our road-map. We are involved in football (sports) for the immediate gains of counting medals and making a living from it. We fail to understand the motive of the motley crowd that gathers around sports, ever arguing, ever scheming.
We determine how well sports is doing by how we profit from sports. People are lamenting the lost opportunities of being in London, Libreville and other spots football would have taken them in 2012. The tears are not for the cessation of the game’s growth. Nobody is crying for the millions of young people who can make a meaningful living from sports, but whose future has been twisted by the greed of a few.
Who is taking responsibility for the losses? Who will fix the future if we are not concerned about the present? Why is the Nigeria Football Association unable to operate by legal standards? What is complicated about being law abiding?
It will be expecting too much to ask the football board to resign. It is an illegal body. We have been at this for many years. An illegal body that calls itself Nigeria Football Federation is an affront to all of us, our laws, and our capacity to implement those laws.
Anyone who has been a member of the Sports Committees of the National Assembly should be ashamed of his role in this perfidy. How could the National Assembly for years approve funds for an illegal body? Assuming the approvals were in error, why has the football-loving National Assembly refused to address the decadence that an illegal body has imposed on football?
We have wasted 2011. Unfortunately, we see the waste merely in terms of not qualifying in some competitions. What foundation for any sports was laid in 2011? How are preparing for 2012? What will improve in sports in 2012”?
The choice is to make 2012 a year rather than the yawn that 2011 was starts with all of us. I am calling on the National Assembly again to earn its relevance in sports by correcting the illegality it has erected in football.
SWAN Wants Football Re-organised
The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has called for the immediate reorganisation of Nigerian football to checkmate the systematic collapse of the round leather game in the country, which has continued to bring untold embarrassment to the nation both at the continental and international competitions in the recent time.
SWAN observed with dismay the complete circle of failure of Nigerian football with the ouster of the Under-23 Olympic team, the Dream Team V at the recent qualifiers in Morocco.
With this development, no Nigerian football team would be on parade in any of the continental and international competitions next year. This, exactly tells about the level of decadence Nigerian football has degenerated into.
The association further reasoned that the problems militating against Nigerian football are multifaceted and the constant sacking of national team coaches would only remain a palliative measure that would never have a far-reaching effect. SWAN, therefore, tasks both the Nigeria Football Federation and the Ministry of Sports to end the festering cold war between them, stressing that no meaningful progress would be made under such a chaotic atmosphere.
It rather advised that both bodies should collaborate and work towards the general interest of Nigerian football by laying an enduring foundation upon which the game would thrive.
SWAN also calls all stakeholders in the game of football in the country to rise and join hands together to salvage the country’s football from further decay.
Dep. Secretary General
For National SWAN
SWAN should be at the forefront to make the football authorities law-abiding. Our laws do not recognise the Nigeria Football Federation. SWAN has no business recognising the NFF. The transition from Nigeria Football Association to Nigeria Football Federation is illegal. There will be no success if we keep building on this illegality.
Then solution does not lie in the relationship between football and the National Sports Commission.
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