August 28, 2009

MRI test : Ojo-Oba lied

Listening to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Secretary General, Bolaji Ojo-Oba on radio during the week made one angry and wondered why some people would not want to own up when they are wrong or have failed.

There was never a time the NFF told Nigerians they were conducting a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test on the Golden Eaglets players, getting ready for the U-17 World Cup holding in Nigeria later in October.
The result of the test leaked to the press and the NFF were embarrassed by the report, prompting members at different times to deny it, stressing that none of the players failed any test.

From there they said they had not received any such result. They later said that only 16 players failed the test.
FIFA later confirmed that a test was carried out on the players and that not 16 players failed the test but 29. It confirmed to the BCC that six countries, including Nigeria were used by it as a test case to see how the scan could be used to sift overaged players from the competition

But Ojo-Oba was talking on a radio programme that it was not FIFA but the NFF that decided it wanted to verify the ages of the Eaglets. That could not have been true. If it was true that it ordered the test, the NFF would not have been panic stricken the way it is now, summoning the players parents to come and authenticate the ages of their children.

All this time it did not make sense to the NFF to query the inclusion of Premier League players in the squad, despite the cry of foremost ex footballers and administrators of no mean repute like Segun Odegbami, Adokie Amiesimaka and Nwabufo Obienu.

Image maker of the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON), Ben Ekpo has almost shouted himself hoax each time this age matter in the U-17 team is mentioned. He has not failed to say that players used in the team are married men. The time to listen to him has finally come. Any way out of the the present mess? Yes, the YSFON president, Alhaji Tunde Ojulari has asked the NFF to come pick players from YSFON. Players could also be got from Shell Cup, Pepsi Academy and the Kwara Football Academy among many orders.

But would the NFF come down from its high horse and go to these organisations? Nigeria need not win the competition but should use the competition to discover and groom future players for the U-20, Olympic team and the Super Eagles. That is the essence of the U-17 championship.

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