NFA: No Future Ambition

Adeola Aderounmu.

The victories of the Golden Eaglets at China in 1985, Japan in 1993 and Korea in 2007 boils down to the determination of the boys wearing the National Colours. The same is true of the lads that won Gold at Atlanta 1996 Olympics. Left to track records of the NFA, these achievements are mere impossibilities. Without dissecting the NFA in to-to, I think keen observers of Nigerian Football are sick and tired of this scalar quantity organisation.

 

Does anyone know the true story behind the on-going dilemma of the NFA and her inability to get the ball rolling for this season in Nigeria?

 

What kinds of people run Nigerian football or even our sports generally?

 

Where are the plans for Nigerian football?

 

How informed are our appointed or selected sports football administrators regarding the round leather game, its organisation and all that?

 

Are they seeking the development of the game or just earning a living and ripping where possible?

 

Of course there are more than 21 questions. Where are the answers?

 

In the ongoing women world cup, the Super Falcons of Nigeria were not one of the favorites to survive the group that they found themselves in (the Swedes are still crying when they arrived back home). However, that should not have been an excuse for them to be treated as slaves by the NFA which was exactly what happened to them!

 

The words of Maureen Mmadu below…….

…The NFA is deliberately doing this to the Super Falcons so as to frustrate some of us who cannot cope with their antics. As far back as 1999 when we took part in the Third edition of the World Cup in USA, the same NFA paid us $2,000 for our victory against Denmark. A draw in that competition fetched us $1,000 and our daily camp allowance was $100. Now, the same NFA is offering us $75 as daily camp allowance, $500 for draw and $1,000 for a win. Is that not madness? Are we going forward or backward? (source: The Guardian sept 19 2007)

 

 

·         Yes Maureen, that was madness and only mad people display madness.

 

·         Generally Nigerian football is going backward.

 

 

Let no one be deceived by the victory of the Eaglets in Korea. 95% of these boys will be nowhere to be found 2 years from now IF we follow the pattern that we know since 1985. The Phillip Osondus, the Christopher Nwosus, the Fatai Ateres and a host of others melted away. Dimeji Lawal did not reach his potentials as we all expected. So, in no way do the victories we enjoy at these youth level translate into the glory that is needed at the big stage. The senior world cup is the true measurement of football glory.

 

 

As we celebrate and bask in the euphoria of the success of our Eaglets, let the truth be told, there is something all Nigerians are hiding away from concerning these boys and one question that hunt my conscience is this one:

 

How old are these boys really? Luis Figo played in the Scotland ‘89 under 17 team for Portugal and he is still playing football to this day. Can we point to any Nigerian in that tournament that is still active today?

 

In 1991, Del Piero played for Italy as a homeboy and Sebastian Veron played for Argentina. Del Piero remains a Juve great till this moment in 2007.

 

Kanu and Oruma are stars of Japan 1993 but what about the rest of the team that won gold?

 

As far as football is concerned, if we had found a way to do things the right way since 1960, there is nothing that stops Nigerian ranking joint first with Brazil (or any other country occupying that position at any point in time) on FIFA’s scale. The real and true talents to achieve this lofty goal abound. It seems that corruption is the only thing that is organized in this country. That may explain why we have not been able to get to the root of it at individual and government levels.

 

 

Back to Maureen Mmadu…..

…..What it means is that each time we are participating in a competition, we have to force the NFA by quarrelling and fighting over money before we can get our rightful entitlement. I am not ready for that trouble anymore. The NFA is claiming that they reached an agreement with the players before departing for the World Cup. What a nonsense? What kind of agreement is that? How long shall they continue to cry of no funds. As I said earlier, I am true with the national team”.

I am saying it loud and clear that the Super Falcons need a foreign technical adviser now. That is the only thing that can bring sanity to the team. With a foreign technical adviser in the Super Falcons, I can reconsider my stand and return to the team, but anything short of that, count me out.

” Look at the male teams for instant, the NFA cannot try this rubbish with Berti Vogts. They are paying us peanuts and our coach won’t say anything. The same NFA spent so much money on the U-17 team (Golden Eaglets), in the recent junior World Cup in Korea. They paid the players so much money. That was a junior World Cup. We are playing in the senior World Cup for God’s sake. The Falcons have won so many championships for Nigeria. Five African Cup of Nations, five appearance in the World Cup, two All Africa Games gold medals and two Olympics Games appearances. We even made it to the quarter final of the World Cup in 1999. We deserved so level of respect from the NFA”, she noted.

 

 

I am not an advocate of foreign coaches but things do work better under them especially for the Super Eagles even if the best was a Cup of Nations’ victory. Still, I do not go for that concept. Maureen, you have my sympathy just as I sympathize with anyone who is into sports and wearing the National colours.  Indeed, it is a great honour but Nigerian sportsmen and women have never received the respect that they deserved. Else, how can one girl be receiving daily allowance of $75 trying to bring honour to her fatherland in far away Asia while another girl is renovating a new house in Abuja with over $6 mn?

 

How come the NFA had to borrow money from private individuals in China to pay the Super Falcons? Why was James Peters, the money carrier, still trapped in Nigeria when the Falcons were suffering and struggling in China? The problem with the NFA is again traceable to the problems of Nigeria. How many things are we doing right in Nigeria? We could not even conduct credible elections in the 21st century. For how long shall we put round pegs in square holes? To me personally, it all still looks like a madhouse, a place where corruption and sycophancy thrives no matter what!

 

I think it is time to start putting things right in the NFA glass or stone house.  Let Nigeria get indigenous sports professionals to run our Ministry of Sports. Let us put the best people into this branch of our existence and provide the optimal conditions for their perfomances. Let us make a road map that will ensure that a Lagos boy will put on the jersey of Stationary Stores and an Ibadan boy that of 3SC.

 

May the glory of Nigeria come, soon!

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