Journalism of Courage

2022 World Cup: Nigerian football needs total overhaul — Sports Editors

...Demand resignation of NFF Board members

The Guild of Sports Editors (GSE) says Nigerian football needs total overhaul, from the lowest league to the national team.

According GSE, the overhaul can only happen “when patriotic individuals, not self-seekers, are given opportunity to manage the game.”

The Sports Editors spoke against the backdrop of the country’s senior national football team, Super Eagles’ failure to qualify for Qatar 2022 World Cup, after their playoff loss to the Black Stars of Ghana.

They advised members of the executive committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to resign from their positions honourably.

In a statement signed by the Guild’s Vice- President, Adekunle Salami, the editors described the decision to sack members of Super Eagles’ technical crew as diversionary, adding that Nigerian football needed a clean break from the malaise of the last eight years.

“Nigerian football is bigger than any individual and should not be tied to the fortunes of anybody.

“The leadership of the current NFF has ridden on the back of Nigerian football to get to top positions in world football governing body, FIFA, to the detriment of the game.

“Nigerian football now needs total overhaul, from the lowest league to the national team and that can only happen when patriotic individuals, not self-seekers, are given opportunity to manage the game.

“We call on the National Assembly, Federal Government, and especially, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, to begin the process of cleansing the football house.

Read Also: Just in: Nigeria’s loss to Ghana: Super Eagles Head Coach, Eguavoen, quits

“Tuesday’s failure is a one of the results of poor decision making, dishonest deployment of men and materials, as well as avarice that have eaten deep into the fabrics of the NFF.

“We ask, therefore, that every executive member of the federation should resign honourably.

“All the back-room staff, including Super Eagles secretary, team manager and protocol officer, among other officers, who have spent more than 10 years in office, must be redeployed to allow for fresh ideas.”

The editors accused the current leadership of the NFF of killing Nigeria’s football, adding that many of the board members use their respective positions to fulfil personal interests.

“It is unfortunate that the NFF has killed the local league to such an extent that no player from the domestic game is deemed capable of playing for the Super Eagles.

“The junior national teams, which, hitherto, was a nursery for the Super Eagles, no longer produces quality youngsters because of the corruption that has killed the age grade teams,” the statement said.

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