Thursday, 21 July 2016
Political Interference in Nigerian Football.
Political interference can be defined as the intervention of politicians or Govt officials in a job, that is meant to be handled by technocrats or specialist in that particular job. That is the state in which our football is being handled in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Football Federation is the statutory body that has been registered by law or referendum to administer Nigerian football, but unfortunately because of their incompetence, their job has been partially handled by the Ministry of Sports which is a government parastatal.
The Nigerian Football Federation has a Chairman which is elected by its members and other officials. There is an arm in the Federation called the technical department, this is the section that selects the technical adviser or Coaches of the National teams and also advise the team in matters that concern the interests of the team.
The Super Eagles is the Nigerian National team and the pivot of all the National teams(Flying Eagles,Under 23 team, Falcons etc).
The Coaches that has always been selected for the National teams are respected technocrats or former players who knows their onions in the game. An agreement is made between them and the Federation,and a contract is being signed that will act as a form of guidance for their employment.
The Federation in most cases,that is practically seen do not keep to the contract, sometimes the Coaches are owed salaries and treated poorly, especially if they are local Coaches. The late 2 coaches that led the Super Eagles were even owed till death. Late Stephen Keshi won the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa, after the competition till the time he was relieved of his appointment as Chief Coach,he was owed and treated with contempt.
Another case that is disheartening,is the contest of administrative offices between stakeholders. Most especially the position of Chairman of the N.F.F,a recent case is the contest between Amaju Pinnick the Current Chairman and Chris Giwa. The latter accussed the incumbent, that he was wrongly chosen and that he was the one that won the election,this occurrence keep repeating itself all the time.
The Nigerian Football Federation should put its house in order, their aim is for the National teams to succeed in domestic and International competitions. They have a technical department that should be sound and efficient to make things work, they should not be money conscious, but focus on taking the National team to a greater height.
Sadly,the Super Eagles since they won the African Cup of Nations in 2013 has failed to qualify for the Continental Competitions since then. They did not partake in 2015, which was won by the Ivory Coast National team, and they won't be participating in the 2017 Cup of Nations as well, because they lost their place to the Pharoahs of Egypt.
All hands must be on deck,most especially for the Federation which is the Pivot of Nigerian Football to sort themselves out. They must be coordinated, organised and focused in transforming our football. They must avoid sentiments and not moved by the"brown envelope syndrome" in performing their duties. It is only by this acts,that they would earn the respect of the Sports loving Nigerians who wish and love that their National teams should succeed.
Failure to do this,the Nigerian populace will continue to see the Federation as " empty barrels that makes the loudest noise". Wisdom is profitable to direct, I hope things turn around positively for Nigerian Football.
Thank you for reading and May God bless us all. Amen.