NFF Election: Nigeria Football Stakeholders Must Re-Strategize Not To Thwart Election – Bayo Olanlege

Nigeria Football stakeholders must re-strategize or there might not be any NFF Elections

As things stands today, a group of stakeholders took the Nigeria Football Federation to court with a claim that the almost ending tenure is illegal.

Very unfortunate that they realized this after more than three years of the existence of the Nigeria Football Federation Executive Committee that came into being after the Katsina Elective Congress.

The claim no matter how real and genuine is belated, all that I suggest should be the focus now is how we all as stakeholders set the Nigeria Football Federation Elections process ball rolling.

There is another claim that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Congress is not well composed and does not give a full representation of all stakeholders.

To this, I wish to state that I feel the opposite is the case and that the NFF Congress as at today, represents majority of the stakeholders within the Nigeria Football Ecosystem.

The Players Union, Referees Association, Nigeria League Bodies and the Coaches Association all have their representatives while the States Football Ecosystem (Referees Councils, State chapters of Players Union, etc.) are also represented by the State Chairmen and Secretaries.

The claim that the State Football Associations have an unfair advantage over others is to me, quite untrue.

This inference is drawn from the fact that the smallest functioning unit of Association Football in a nation (Nigeria Football Federation), is the Local Football Council (LFC). Each of the LFCs are expected to have been composed of all the major football stakeholders right from the local government level (e.g. Referees Societies at the LGAs).

Apart from the ones stated earlier in this write up, military and paramilitary, local club owners, supporters club, football event sponsors, etc. are expected to have been part of the composition of the Local Football Councils (LFCs), where two representatives, that is, the chairman and the secretary of each bodies, go on to join their colleagues to form the State FAs.

It is therefore erroneous to myopically deduce that State FAs composed of representatives, in this case, the chairmen and the secretaries of all local and state football stakeholders, have not captured all that are being suggested by some to have presence in the NFF Congress of Executive Board.

As at today, there are State FA Chairmen that are ex international footballers (Patrick Pascal, MON), Bauchi State), he is also a member of the Players Union, irrespective of the fact that the union still have representation (Mr. Tijani Babangida, MON) in the NFF Congress. Also, there are State FA Chairmen who are lawyers and have been part of football at local level until they rose to state level and some, now at the Federal level.

I as an example have my background as a long standing member of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club (14 years) and then went on to establish and fund a local club (Phoenix Athletics Sports Club) which makes me a club owner from where I rose to become the State FA Chairman.

My angle is that, State FA Chairmen evolved from the local level, the core unit of the football system itself, there are lawyers, teachers, civil servants, club owners, supporters club members, local football competition financiers, ex footballers, sports writers, etc. How then won’t this group be the main body of the Football Federation?

If all the leagues in Nigeria should have representatives at the Nigeri a Football Federation Congress, as suggested by some, then Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) will have twenty (20), Nigeria National League (NNL) teams will have forty six (46), Nigeria Women Football League and Nationwide League One will have a combined representatives of more than one hundred (100) teams. What a NFF Congress that would be, alarming right?

In conclusion, the drama and charade currently exhibited by the players union is a hindrance rather than a facilitator to the change requested for by many Nigeria football stakeholders.

The case currently in the Bayelsa State court has put a hold on the Nigeria Football Federation Annual General Assembly where the process for NFF Elections would be set in motion, hence, me thinking that there might not be any elections after all.

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