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Nigerian Football

Gara Gombe throws light into NFF Appeal Committee’s relief for Remo Stars

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Ahmed Shuaibu Gara-Gombe

One-time Gombe FA chairman, Ahmed Shuaibu Gara-Gombe and a major voice on Nigerian football has thrown light into the NFF Appeals Committee decision on the Remo Stars versus Gombe United match.

The match, which was one of the MatchDay 12 fixture in the Group A of the NPFL abridged league for the current season had to be concluded the following day, and with another referee when the designated referee refused to commence the second half of the game.

He claimed assault and injuries to his person by the General Manager of the home side, Ekene Adams. For the records, Sports Village Square reports that it is not unusual for an appeal committee to upturn a decision earlier made by a governing body. Otherwise, the appeal committee  will just be a rubber stamp.

A recent global example is gleaned from the Italian Serie A where an earlier 15-point deduction imposed on Juventus was reversed by the supreme sports court of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) which last week accepted Juventus’ appeal.

Gara-Gombe titles his submission: “Between  IMC and NFF- TOEFL  as the newest prosecution witness on Remo Stars’ case”.

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His submissions:

“The NFA Disciplinary committee recently inaugurated by Ibrahim Gusau had its baptism with the case brought before it on the decision of the IMC on allegations of wrong doing by Remo Stars FC and its officials for prejudicial conduct during their match against Gombe United FC.

“I know those reading this may wonder what the headline of this opinion means to the matter under reference.

“TOEFL means:  Test of English as Foreign Language.  It is an assessment test usually carried for prospective students seeking admission to foreign schools, especially universities.

“The fundamental  issue in determining the Remo Stars’ case is the test of English. There were two key words –  tapping and assault.

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“Let us determine this first before we go into the matter proper as I understood it based on my findings. What is an assault and what is tapping?

“An assault is simply  said to be the intentional use of force to cause harm on another person, while tapping is said simply to be a friendly way of drawing the attention of a person by another.

“A Remo Stars FC official precisely Hon.Ekene Adams,  a member of House of Representatives- Elect from Kaduna State who is the General Manager of Remo Stars FC was reported  to have gone into the dressing Room (a restricted Area)to assault the centre referee for issuing a red card to a Remo Stars player.

“On the other hand Hon Ekene Adams  was said to have only tapped the referee in a friendly manner to complain about the red card.

“This made the centre referee not continue with the match citing an allegation of assault by Hon.Ekene Adams.

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“It is clear that he who alleges has a burden of proof. Now let us take a look at the following issues:

“1. What was the evidence of assault that is so prejudicial to warrant the discontinuation of the match by the referee.?

“2. Where there are no witnesses in the referees dressing rooms to ascertain the commission of an assault or  the incident that happened?

“3. Where was the Match Commissioner and  the referee assessor?

“4. Was there no Ogun FA official or secretary on ground?

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“5. Is an official of the home team said to commit trespass on match day if he finds his way to the Referees Dressing Room?

“6. Is the Referees Dressing Room a Restricred Area to an official of a Home Team.?

“7. What was in the match commissioners’ report and that of the referees report? Were they in agreement with each other?

“8. Did the alleged assault render the referee useless and could not continue with the match? If yes, why did the Assistant Referee 1 not continue with the match?

“9. Did the Match Commissioner agree with the centre referee to discontinue with the match?  Why did he not, or did he order the Match Commissioner to continue with the match?

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“10. On the security that was said to be inadequate, what was recorded during the pre-match meeting at the very meeting that security of a match is predetermined. Who is responsible for providing security – Remo Stars or Ogun F.A?

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“1. From what I know,  no referee decides to discontinue  a match in Nigeria without an external instruction. Last season it happened during Niger Tornadoes and Lobi Stars game in Minna.

“2. Whenever there is inadequate security the FA is to be sanctioned not clubs.

“3. There is no home team in our league that its officials don’t visit Referees Dressing  Room at half time.  Sometimes these officials even take drinks to them personally. They even visit their hotels before and after matches.

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“4. Gombe United either due to inexperience or they are aware of a certain plan they should have just enter their bus and return to Gombe. Because they presented themselves for a match and after 45 minutes  the officials refused to continue.They have no business staying a day after to replay or complete any game. It is no longer their business.

“5. Match commissioners, referees and assessors should be filing their reports within the stipulated time to avoid manipulation.

“Therefore, the Disciplinary Committee did a good job.

“1.However, after over ruling almost all the decisions of IMC, why sustained the suspension of Hon.Ekene Adams?

“2. I did not see where Ogun FA was not fined for inadequate security.

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“3. The Match Commissioner  should be reprimanded for allowing a match to start without adequate security.

“4. I know Remo Stars Chairman is a member of IMC but he does not attend meetings I hope it is not what I am thinking.

“5. The IMC Should not be carried away by their successes so far and the ‘media honeymoon’ they are enjoying they should not be hastily and be too hard in their decisions. Some of these reforms should be transitional. They should be using carrot and stick approach to affect meaningful reforms. Take it easy, but be firm. I come in peace..my opinion.”

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

Nigerian women coaches conclude first module of CAF C-License course

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NFF President Gusau and GS Sanusi with NFF Management and the coach educators and participants at the commencement of the course on Monday last week.

A total of 30 women coaches have concluded the first of a three-module CAF C-License program in the Federal Capital, Abuja and are expected to commence a two-week internship with different teams in a few days.

Peopled largely by former Nigerian internationals and other serving coaches, the group was taken through a full week of rigorous classroom and practical sessions by a team of coach educators and resource persons, in a baptism of what the next two modules are likely to entail,

NFF Technical Director, Coach Augustine Eguavoen, told thenff.com that the first module has shown that the women coaches are actually desirous of learning.

“I am very much impressed with their attitude, mannerisms and conduct through the first module. They impressed everyone, and the coach educators also told me they were impressed, and are looking forward to having them back for the second and concluding modules.

“We are grateful for the leadership of the NFF for the support and encouragement for coach-education programmes all the time.”

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The participants will return to Abuja for the second module that is scheduled for 12th – 20th August, after which they will go on another two-week internship, 23rd August – 4th September. The third module, which comes with examinations for the participants, will take place 9th – 19th September.

Dr. Terry Babatunde Eguaoje, NFF’s Head of Education, is among the coach educators’ team, which also includes Coaches Isah Ladan Bosso, Wemimo Olanrewaju and Lanrence Ndaks.

Among the 30 participants are former Super Falcons’ stars Precious Dede, Joy Jegede, Esther Michael, Maureen Eke, Otas Ogbonmwan, Vera Okolo, Cecilia Nku, Taiwo Ajobiewe, Gloria Ofoegbu and Amenze Aighewi. There are also Barr. Victoria Nlemigbo and retired FIFA referee Folusho Ajayi.   

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Nigerian Football

Osimhen’s outburst was a moment of madness, says Amaju

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Former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President and a  FIFA Council member, Amaju Pinnick has expressed shock at last month’s outburst by Super Eagles’ striker, Victor Osimhen against Finidi George.

“It is very unfortunate”, Amaju Pinnick remarked on an Arise Television programme. The former NFF president said he had put a call to Osimhen who was very remorseful while the telephone conversation lasted.

  “I told him he has to apologise, and I am sure he will if he has not yet done so.” Amaju remarked that he could not comprehend what went wrong as Osimhen was the most cool-headed player in the national team.

He went on to remark that Finidi George was not a personality to be disregarded like that. He has won virtually every honour available during his playing days and was a member of the Super Eagles at their peak when Nigeria ranked fifth in the world.

“I believe players should learn to respect their coaches”, said the former NFF boss.

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Nigerian Football

I prefer a foreign coach for the Super Eagles, says Amaju

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Nigeria’s FIFA Council member, Amaju Pinnick has told the world that he has always been an advocate of foreign coaches for the Super Eagles. He spoke on Arise Television while fielding questions with Reuben Abati, Rufai Oseni and Ayo Mairo-Ese. 

His reason for being averse to indigenous  coaches stemmed from lack of respect for them by the players.

“Yes, the Nigerian coaches have the requisite knowledge and the technical ability, but modern football is beyond that in managing players.

“Will the national team players respect the coach? The sad thing is that they don’t”, said Amaju Pinnick.

 He however revealed that he supported the appointment of Finidi George owing to the circumstances that the NFF found itself after the exit of Jose Peseiro.

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 The NFF, he revealed, had no money to hire a foreign coach. The body therefore went for the most available option, Finidi to ensure a smooth transition.

 “Finidi was part of the coaching crew of Peseiro and it was therefore logical to ask him to continue.

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