NIGERIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION ONCE HAD THREE BOARDS IN ONE YEAR!

NIGERIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION ONCE HAD THREE BOARDS IN ONE YEAR!

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

 

Two sets of board had occupied the Nigeria Football Federation offices this year. It looked absurd.

But decades ago, at the height of instability in football administration in the country, there had been three boards in a year.

When Louis Edet resigned in November 1963, the vice chairman, Mustapha Adewale succeeded him. After two months, he had to resign as he had to leave for U.K. on secondment as Nigeria’s permanent representative on Commonwealth Telecommunication Board.

He handed over the NFA administration to Alfred Osula and announced the transfer of NFA to the National Sports Council (NSC), the fore-runner of the National Sports Commission.

By then, other sports associations, notably athletics and table tennis had been under the direct supervision of the NSC.

Alfred Osula who later became the Deputy Managing Director of Daily Times succeeded Adewale. Till 2018, his tenure remains the shortest ever. He administered the NFA for just 21 days.

On January 20, 1964, a NFA rehabilitation committee was set up to run the Nigeria Football Association. Francis Giwa-Osagie, Director of Prisons, headed it.

 

Other members were Father Slattery, who returned as vice chairman, J.J. Philips, treasurer; Alex Oni, Secretary; A. Onwualu, M.E.K. Roberts, Lt. Col. Adeyinka Adebayo, Alhaji A. Mora, Alan Wright, J.W. McEwen, J.A. Adegbite and chairmen of regional associations.

Chief Alfred Osula in 1963 spent 21 days on the saddle as the NFA Chairman, the shortest tenure ever.

   But in a big twist, the entire team resigned en bloc on November 27, 1964 following allegations of meddling in the exercise of its authority by the NSC.

Chief Ishola Bajulaiye, the Eletu Odibo of Lagos and chairman of Lagos Sports Council acted for two months as NFA chairman.

So, within 12 months, NSC boss, Akin Deko, had to announce a second Rehabilitation Committee for the NFA, making three boards within the period. The new committee had Chuba Ikpeazu as its boss. Ikpeazu, a Lagos High Court Judge, was the mentor of the Onitsha Redoubtable in the 1950s.

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