By Jacob Ajom
As state Football Associations across the country prepare for board elections later this month, the battle for the chairmanship of the Anambra State FA has pitched the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Tony Nnachetta against incumbent chairman, Chief Mike Umeh.
We gathered that Nnachetta has already declared interest in the seat which has been held by the incumbent for sometime now.
At a stakeholders meeting held Wednesday, February 11 in Awka, the commissioner informed the delegates of his intention to become the next FA boss. In the same breath, he told Chief Umeh not to seek re-election as government did not approve of his ambition.
We further gathered that in reference to a resolution made last year by the state FA Congress which endorsed Umeh’s bid for another term, Nnachetta told the former First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation to forget about that resolution. He was quoted to have told Umeh, “Even if the congress elects you, government will not accept that election.”
As if that was not enough, Nnachetta said Umeh had been in the saddle for about 14 years, he should therefore give way for another person.
In a chat with reporters in Awka yesterday, Chief Mike Umeh dismissed the commissioner’s supposed threat as a none issue. “He cannot intimidate me. I know government has nothing to do with state FA elections.
”What he is trying to do is mere name dropping as the government of Anambra State cannot come so low as to meddle in the affairs of the state FA elections,” Umeh said.
“I will not see this as government interference in the running of football, instead, it is the commissioner who is interfering. It is an unhealthy development which should be condemned by all stakeholders in Nigerian football.”
He disclosed that government had no hand in the running of football in the state. “We don’t get subventions. I pay for the office accommodation and staff salaries. Nachetta has tried to be FA chairman in the past and I have beaten him on each occasion. I cannot be intimidated.”