By: Gracious Akujobi
The present NFF administration led by Aminu Maigari is focused on bequeathing uncommon legacies to Nigeria football, says Emeka Inyama, Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee.
“The only reason why we didn’t roll out the drums on Monday, on the third anniversary of the administration, is that we are not flippant people and also, we are fully concentrating on the three very important 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches that we must prosecute successfully in the next couple of months,” began Inyama, a foremost media and marketing guru who himself, incidentally, added a year on Monday.
He went further: “Even our critics have come to accept that this is one administration that is highly focused on key areas and unique legacies and still determined to do more.
“It is not for nothing that the NFF President as an individual and the NFF as a corporate body continue to attract top awards from far and near. In the past three years, and despite the first 18 months spent dealing with pointless litigations and distractions, this administration still have six trophies (three competitive tournaments and three from prestigious friendly matches), aside several major accomplishments, to boast of.”
The six trophies are the Africa Cup of Nations diadem, which Nigeria won for the first time in 19 years earlier this year in South Africa; the African Youth Championship in 2011; the African Women Championship in 2010 and; glittering trophies from memorable defeats of Argentina
(June 2011), Catalonia (January 2013) and South Africa (August 2013).
“Of course, Nigerians also praise this administration for co-operating with the Presidential Task Force to actualize a first-ever, world-class NFF Headquarters; insisting on a transparent process that has produced the most credible Nigeria U-17 team ever; severe sanctions against match fixers and a maturity that has nurtured a warm, purposeful and positive relationship with the leadership of the National Sports Commission.
“At the same time, apart from the unfortunate misunderstanding in Namibia, we have had no issues with players of the various National Teams regarding bonuses and allowances. Even at $5,000 win-bonus, our Super Eagles are among the best-paid in the world and continue to fly
business class, which is not the situation in several other countries.”
Inyama, also Chairman of the Nigeria National League, contends that the domestic League has benefitted tremendously from the uncommon vision of the Maigari administration.
“Recently, the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, applauded the NFF for its innovation and support for the League Management Company, which is surely turning around the Premier League for the better. We gave the Super Eagles’ Coach total support in a rebuilding process that has sealed a fact: that home-based professionals will never again be mere training materials in the senior team, or any of the National Teams for that matter. Not only has this resulted in greater excitement and competitiveness in the Leagues, our boys have, for the first time ever, qualified for the African Nations Championship and are favourites for the Cup.”
The respected football administrator also opened a window on what the Maigari team intends to achieve within the next one year that draws the curtain on its first term.
“Now, we are looking to qualify Nigeria for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and to ensure that the boys are not just there to make up the number. FIFA has agreed with our proposal for the body to fund Regional Technical Centres across the federation; we are set to harmonise the activities of the various academies so that we can continue to present credible U-17 National Teams; we will soon unfold a unique programme for the development of the women’s game and; we look forward to winning several more trophies, beginning with the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, among other programmes.”