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Nigerian Football

DALUNG DIRECTS RESTRUCTURING OF THE NFF

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

A major restructuring is in the offing at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

Sports Village Square has gathered from the chieftain of the organisation, Amaju Pinnick that the minister of sports, Solomon Dalung has directed the restructuring which is intended to bring the body in line with the reality of the complex nature of running football organisations which has many global issues to contend with.

“Daily running of the NFF cannot be done in the current manner as most of its operations have to be computerised to avoid lapses”, Pinnick remarked while fielding questions at the close of the NFF/Zenith U-15 football fiesta at the Agege Stadium, in Lagos.

The obvious reference is the recent sanction imposed on Nigeria following the fielding of an ineligible player in last month’s World Cup qualifier with Algeria.

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Nigeria, not only forfeited the match and the point accrued from it, the Super Eagles were also docked three points and three goals in addition to fine imposed.

Moreover, it technically ended the enviable unbeaten run the Super Eagles had established over 36 matches of the World Cup qualifying series since 2004.

“The minister was not happy about this”, Pinnick remarked, saying that he subsequently ordered a restructuring of the football governing body to avoid future lapses.

To this end, Pinnick disclosed that automated systems are being put in place whereby cards and other cautions imposed on players in both local and international engagements easily prop up.

He lamented that he had to carry the all the blames as the overall head of the NFF, even though the day-to-day running of the secretariat is statutorily not his responsibility. “But the buck stops somewhere, it has to be on my table”.

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“But you know I cannot be making marketing drives and pursuing policies that will enhance Nigerian football and at the same time myself to secretariat and clerical works of the NFF.

It is good that the minister has directed that we reorganise the place and I will ensure we carry out that assignment diligently.

He disclosed that a former general secretary of the organisation, Ahmed Sani Toro, had been contacted to assist in the reorientation of the secretariat staff.

Sports Village Square recalls that in 1991 as the general secretary of the then NFA, Toro recommended a complete computerisation of secretariat after he had attended a two-week internship at the offices of The FA in London.

Pinnick disclosed that external communications of the NFF will be depersonalised such that when a particular officer is not available, the communication can be directed to the next officer.

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Sports Village Square learnt that Nigeria could have escaped the FIFA sanction had the officer the notification of the ineligibility of Shehu Abdulahi had acted or the communication passed to other since he was unavailable on health grounds.

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s broadcast icon, Danladi Bako hails NFF on choice of Finidi George

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Nigerian broadcasting icon, Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako has praised the Nigeria Football Federation for settling for former international and ex-Enyimba FC strategist Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

The Kogunan Sakwatto, 66, who created a plethora of famous TV programmes including Morning RideMastersports and Second Chance, among others, and served as Special Adviser to a number of Sports Ministers many years ago, insisted the NFF leadership struck a bull’s eye with the appointment of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, stating that George oozes class and character, and an iron determination to succeed despite his public carapace of a quiet person.

“Finidi George has that cultured, disciplined mien and personality that makes you want to trust him with a big project. He understands the meaning of constituted authority and right from his playing days, has always displayed the attribute of a team player. He has always had that calm, collected nature even in the face of pressure or danger.

“Above all, he is not someone who thinks he is doing the nation a favour. He is grateful for the opportunity and I believe that he has all it takes to succeed. I am calling on the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, the NFF and Nigerians as a whole to support him to take the Super Eagles to brand-new heights.”

Bako, who holds a doctorate degree in development communication from the Ahmadu Bello University and was Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission between 1999 and 2002, says all hands must now be on deck to ensure victories in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic on 7 June and 11 June respectively.

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“No doubt, the NFF got this one appointment right. Very much on point. Now, they should endeavour to give George all the support he needs to succeed in his task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s sports minister, Enoh applauds NFF for ‘buying local material’

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Sports Minister Enoh (left) and NFF President Gusau (right) unveil Finidi.

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh on Monday praised the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for settling for an indigenous Head Coach for the Super Eagles, despite the plethora of foreign tacticians who applied for the job.

Enoh, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony of the Eagles’ new substantive Head Coach, Finidi George at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, charged the NFF to give the former winger all the support to succeed, while also soliciting the support of all Nigerians for the new helmsman.

“As a student of the University of Calabar in those days, I used to go to the UJ Esuene Stadium to watch Calabar Rovers, which included Finidi George. I am excited to see him seated here as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles.”

President of NFF,  Ibrahim Musa Gusau exuded delight with the ‘new chapter’ the Federation is opening about the Nigeria game, saying the football-governing body is determined to fully support George and his assistants to lead the Super Eagles to new heights.

“When we returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, we began the search for a new Head Coach. There was a plethora of foreign applicants, far more than the indigenous applicants. However, we undertook a thorough process that has produced an indigenous Coach and we are very happy about that. Finidi George was part of the technical crew that came close to winning the AFCON, and we have faith in him that he will lead the team to the title next time.  

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“Our objective now is to ensure the enthronement of excellence at all levels of the National Teams.”

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Nigerian Football

No more bench-warmers in the Super Eagles, says Finidi George

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New man on the managerial saddle of the Super Eagles, Finidi George has stated that  he will invite for international assignments, only players who feature regularly at their clubs either in Nigeria or in the diaspora, and promised that the Super Eagles will remain even more competitive in the years ahead.

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