By Paul Bassey
These are the best of times for Nigeria football. I swear.At times like this all you need to do is,wake up in the morning, send someone to buy you the dailies and digest them with glee.
In them you are to come across series of revelations as members of the football family struggle to outdo each other with vital information that will help to sanitise our football.
The one that is likely to amuse you most is the revelations of board members of the NFF who cowed in the presence of the almighty Lulu but have now been set free, delivered. Now they are singing. Croaking is more appropriate.
You can imagine a board member of the NFF coming out to say that in four years he was not allowed to talk. That in four years, he was under a ruler that was dictatorial and high handed and that in four years he could not stand up like a man and be counted on the side of history and probity.
When they came back from Angola and made moves to query Lulu for abandoning and neglecting them, news made the rounds that they were â€˜settledâ€™.
If they were, Lulu and Ojo Oba have the details, that is why they should talk less and pray that the congress does not come and pour their venom on them.
Already Lulu has spoken, shocked at Maigari and Ogba, two lieutenants that he thought were faithful. I want the new board of the NFF to talk less because if we decide to forgive Lulu tomorrow, we may still hold them responsible for not reining him, for allowing him to become the monster that he became.
I have problems with this board. I have problems with a board that did not allow the domestic league to grow. As you are reading this, the league is supposed to end all over the country today, yet there are a lot of issues still unresolved.
By the way can, will the league end? Have we foreseen some cases of force majeure?
One way of muzzling the league was the hijacking of the Organising and Disciplinary committee by Amanze Uchegbulam. The argument against was simple.
If the NFF had appeal powers, why take over the disciplinary functions, which amounted to being a judge in your own case? The result was chaos unlimited. A team refused a penalty being taken on home soil yet you ordered the match to be replayed?
You needed to see how politics was played with disciplinary decisions. A particular match, Wikki against Bayelsa I believe, had to be replayed FOUR times.
( Infact the two teams were to replay yesterday and proceed to Abuja and Kaduna respectively for their last matches today )Never in the history of football world wide, has such a decision been taken just because you did not want to ruffle feathers going into the elections, just because you see the administrator of a particular team as an enemy.
The stories are legion. I do have it on good authority that one of the teams had protested, the protest letter and fee received and acknowledged. When will the committee sit on it? Tomorrow we will have the guts to point fingers at the quality of the local league!
The dignified organizing and disciplinary committee became a cash and carry forum an avenue for the settling of political scores.
Club chairmen, match commissioners who were not in the good books of the NFF were unduly punished and antagonized, ridiculed. I hope the current board of the NPL will consider a major drift from this fundamental flaw.
Germany and Spain
At the time of going to press the result of yesterdayâ€™s match was not known. However there is a popular belief that whoever wins today, will win the cup. Maybeâ€¦..maybe.
See you tomorrow.