â€” Gen. Okaro reveals
By Richard Animam
FormerÂ Commander of Nigeria Army Sports Camp located in Yaba, Brigadier- General Emmanuel Okaro (rtd) had a premonition of what was going to happen to Nigerian football, after her disgraceful outing at the World Cup going on in South Africa. The Super Eagles failed to win a match and finished last in a group she was expected toÂ finish at least second.
The General had in an interview with Saturday Sports on MondayÂ called on the government to scrap the present Nigeria Football Association as constituted and also disband the Super Eagles, stating that there are better players in the country who if exposed to better conditions of trainingÂ will do the country proud at international competitions.
He frowned at the lacklustre performance of the Eagles in South Africa and stressed that only a clean sweep of the team and association can bring about any meaningful in change in the countryâ€™s football.
Only last Wednesday, President Goodluck
Jonathan in reaction to the report submitted to him by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) announced a two- year ban for Eagles, exempting them from taking part in any international competition and equally called for proper auditing of the accounts of the NFA and vowed to deal with any official found wanting.
Gen . Okaro lauded the President for taking such a bold step, stating that it was the only way to get rid of people who have ruined our football and enriched themselves in the process.Â He appealed to the President to ensure that NFA officials are properly investigated as most of them have enriched themselves through the football house.
â€œNFA members should be thoroughly probed. It is a shame that they are saying they qualified Nigeria for all international competitions and so what?, what was the results of those competitions. Is the NFA all about taking part in competitions?Â If they are thoroughly probed none of them will escape going to jail. You can imagine that they cannot account for the N900m given to them and they cannot also account for the money they got from FIFA.
People are saying FIFA will ban Nigeria, I can tell you that Patrick Ekeji and the Sports Minister met with FIFA in South Africa and told them about the monumental corruption that is in the NFA and FIFA gave them go ahead to probe them.
â€œFIFA does not want its name to be dragged in the mud and when they were informed about the corruption in the NFA, they gave government officials the go ahead to probe the NFA and that is what the government is doingâ€, he said.
The retired General also revealed that some NFA board members who where meeting in Abuja took to their heelsÂ when they heard about the decision to probe them and one of them forgot his jacket as they scrambled forÂ the door. Saturday Sports further gathered that some board members are already chatting with the EFCC.
General Okaro further said, he suspects that following the sack of the NFA, State governors will alsoÂ follow the path paved by President Jonathan, by sacking the chairmen of State FAs, who are equally guilty of similar offence.