NFF election can't give us desired change - Ndubuoke

By Ori Martins

A former board member of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Chief Fan Ndubuoke has insisted that the up coming September 30 election for the federation couldn’t guarantee the needed and desired changes necessary to better the nation’s football.

Ndubuoke who served as the immediate past executive chairman of Imo State Sports Commission noted that, “there was no need for the haste as it can only destroy what is leftover if there is any in the country’s football circle”.

A veteran sports journalist who was also national president of Sports Writers Association (SWAN) and Special Adviser to Late Sports Minister, Air Comdr. Emeka Omeruah enthused that “rather than go into the election, football stakeholders should seek ways to fix the numerous potholes crippling football development in the country”.

He called on the minister of sports, Sunday Dare, to lead the campaign for this desired change because “the buck stops on the desk of the Minister irrespective of what anyone thinks, feels, assumes or says.”

According to him; “Nothing will change with the manner some stakeholders are clamouring for this election. The election won’t solve the numerous problems bedeviling Nigerian football.

“We have passed this route before and nothing changed. Instead it got worse. Why the rush into an election when we know that it will compound our football woes. If the election goes ahead as scheduled, one of those responsible for our present woes is likely to emerge.

“Until the rotten tooth is pulled out the mouth must chew with caution. Until we fix our domestic league, officiating, women football, secure sponsors for our league and various tiers of our national teams, until we stop owing players bonuses and allowances, until we fix the problem of clubs travelling from Maiduguri to Yenegoa for a league fixture by road yet the same club will return to Maiduguri almost 24 hours after the game or even same day just because they lacked logistic arrangement”.

He added; “This affects 99% of the clubs and that is the reason behind cases and stories of accidents, desperation and robbery attacks involving these clubs on league assignments. This is excluding the huge challenge of insecurity which is almost sinking the country.

“Isn’t it wise that stakeholders should come together to discuss all these with a task of finding a lasting solution before jumping into an election? Shouldn’t clubs find a way of flying to league venues if the distance is beyond four hours by road? Shouldn’t we use this period to interface with football administrators in Europe, North and South Africa? How can players get their entitlements before the league kicks off? Shouldn’t players be handed life insurance policies”?

The former chairman of Imo State Football Association noted unless the problems destroying the country’s football was identified and solved, the September 30, 2022 federation election was not desirable as it would not also solve any problem.

He said: “I sincerely think these are the problems destroying our football and not the NFF election. When we fix these challenges then every other thing will fall in place including administration or management.

“You don’t build a house from the roof. You start from the foundation. But sadly the rush for election appears like we want to build our football from the roof. I am not suggesting that there shouldn’t be an election but I am saying that we should do the needful first then, the election will come naturally as a secondary need. Our primary need is to right the wrongs which keep crippling our football.”

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