London-based enterprenuer and Team Nigeria UK founder, David Doherty is one of the aspirants in the race for NFF Presidential election. In this interview with our Correspondent he speaks on his plans and why he is in the race. Read on:
What influenced your decision to contest in the NFF election?
Change!! Change from the analogue way of running football. Change from making the footballers who I call the real actors secondary and administrators primary. Change from always running to the Federal Government begging for fund when, in actual sense, football can run and fund itself. I can go on and on.
From your analysis or explanation are you suggesting that the outgoing board or present administration has failed in it’s responsibilities?
It is not about condemning the present board. Whether you say this board has failed or didn’t fail is immaterial. It won’t change anything. It won’t add any value to the situation we find ourselves in.
I am not in the race to condemn anyone. I’m in the race to provide solutions to the avalanche of problems bedeviling our football. I wish to state that my position is to improve or build on whatever has been done or achieved by this administration or to provide solutions and fix what has been ignored or left undone.
So what are these solutions you want to bring on?
(Laughs)….I will rather keep that to myself. You don’t reveal or disclose your weapon to the “enemy” before you go into a battle. It’s like exposing your ace before serving it.
I want to believe other aspirants equally have their master plans on how to revive our football and I would be surprised if they have revealed them to you.
Talking about revival, many stakeholders hold the opinion that our football is in a state of comatose, do you share this view?
Again, I say whatever view anyone holds at this point doesn’t or won’t change anything. I believe in moving forward and not picking holes or seeking faults.
However, we are all Nigerians and like you said, we have our individual opinions of what has happened to our football in the past few years. A large majority of the stakeholders feel that this administration should have done better than it has done and that has informed the call for a change.
You do not live in Nigeria, don’t you think this will count against you in the election? Your opponents may ask how much of the happenings at home do you know?
Let me quickly say here that in the last three years, I have literally been at home (I mean in Nigeria). It may interest you to know that I bring top football scouts from the United Kingdom to Nigeria quarterly to pick talents for Team Nigeria UK which is a project yours sincerely has been running for years now.
The Team Nigeria project started in the UK and I had to bring it into Nigeria to help our teenagers within the age bracket make a career in football and education in Europe.
It is a combination of football and education with an opportunity of sponsorship for the players/students. As I speak we have assisted quite a number of Nigerian kids towards realizing their ambition and dreams of playing football and schooling.
I must also say that the Team Nigeria project is affiliated to clubs in the UK which gives us leverage to pursue and achieve the individual goals of the kids.
So I have been on ground in Nigeria. I have been working in Nigeria even as I shuttle the UK.
Have you seen the statutes of the electoral committee for the election? Are you qualified to stand for the election?
For now everything seems to be shrouded in secrecy and the reason for this remains a mystery to me or do I say many of the aspirants.
But that will not deter me from pursuing this dream of changing the sad narrative of our football administration. We are waiting to see what the laws will look like to know who and who qualifies to run or contest.