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NFF: The politics of sub-committees

Late last month, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) released a list of 18 sub-committees and four Ad-hoc committee members to help in the overall operations and decision making of the football body. We observed that it was a bloated list, a very long one that sparks suspicion on how effective these members will be.

We are aware that these committees are supposed to play advisory roles for the federation, but why the names and committees were so long remain big questions the federation’s chieftains should explain to Nigerians.

The facilities and technical study group committees had 16 members each while match commissioners committee had 14 members. Interestingly, the facilities committee is to be headed by a representative from the North- East, meaning this could be anybody and not someone with the competence for that position.

We make bold to say NFF deliberately tried to balance the appointments and made it cover all parts of Nigeria. In addition, it is also safe to say the federation did not put merit first in the setting up of these committees.

Before talking about the bloated size, it is pertinent to ask; does the federation have the resources to take care of 18 sub-committees and four ad-hoc committee members? To inaugurate these committees, only one or two members from each of the committees will be invited.

We recall that in the last committee inauguration held in Abuja in 2018, the NFF failed to pay some of those who made the trip to Abuja till date. Ordinarily, the structure determines the day-to-day flow of an organization.

Big organizations either public or private have various departments working in respective areas to boost efficiency. The NFF has a board that takes executive decisions while the secretariat is headed by the General Secretary who runs the daily routine of the body. However, apart from this, the NFF also has sub-committees that are supposed to give directions on various aspect of the game.

This is the ideal situation, but in reality, many, if not all the committees are redundant as decisions in the federation are taken by the board members in conjunction with the secretariat head, Muhammed Sanusi. We recall that earlier in the year, former international and a member of the technical sub-committee, Mutiu Adepoju, disclosed that the body did not hold any meeting in over two years.

He stressed that the body was not part of technical decisions made by the NFF despite being named and inaugurated. Adepoju’s disclosure was indeed a revelation as stakeholders were made to believe that the technical body under Ahmed Yusuf Fresh, assist the technical department and the Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr. In the recently released long list, there were some people regarded as co-opted members and no explanation was made.

There was a body regarded as football committee in the NFF. We strongly believe it is strange to have a football subcommittee in a football federation. At the Russia 2018 World Cup, the NFF took all the heads of committees to the World Cup and there were financial issues along the line during the mundial. A member of one of the committees said it’s a ‘still birth’ because the committees were dead from the day of announcement or at most inauguration.

The appointments are done perhaps for political reasons and not for the effective running of the country’s football. We insist that the NFF do not need this bloated list to function as a federation. At most, seven sub committees can assist the secretariat and the board when necessary. What we have now is the usual occurrence and it has to stop. A former NFF board member, Barr. Chris Green, and former international, Taribo West have already came out to reject the appointment.

It is expected many others will follow. Green released a statement to ‘politely’ excuse himself from the assignment many regarded as a dead issue from the day the list was announced while Taribo, during a radio programme, said he would never be part of the committee based on his past experience. “The money I spent to honour the inauguration two years ago is yet to be paid and we did nothing since our names were announced,” Taribo said.

The NFF should learn to imbibe what obtains in other developed footballing nations to boost its operations. Nigerians are sick and tired of the antics of the federation in the running of the round leather game in the country.

We call on the football federation to look into ways of boosting its operations by getting sound technocrats, rich in the modern practices of the game, to help in overall running of the football house and give better focus on technical matters. It was strange that the technical committee was not headed by a former international and so, rather than play politics with the list, we expect the NFF to make use of the experiences of the formers stars to develop the game better at all levels.


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