U.S.-based ex-Rangers’ star, Boardman hails NANF over struggle for players’ welfare
• Recovered N344m ‘loot’ now with NPFL officials, says Jala
A former player of Enugu Rangers, Kenneth Boardman, now based in Oakland, California, USA, has expressed gratitude to the President of the National Association Of Nigerian Footballers (NANF), Harrison Jala for his struggle for the welfare of Nigerian players over the years.
His commendation came yesterday, just as Jala revealed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has handed over the draft of the recovered N344m ‘loot’ to the leadership of the premier league/NPFL clubs and the Nigeria premier league secretary for immediate disbursement to all the concerned clubs.
Jala had broke the cheering news on Tuesday that the EFCC had recovered over N344 million through an on-going bid to retrieve all looted football funds, debts and outstanding payments. The sum is an outstanding debt for broadcast rights fees for 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015 Football seasons for the Nigeria Premier League.
In a message to The Guardian from his base in California yesterday, Boardman, who is the Chief Executive Officer, SKB Executive Business School, said: “I want to use this opportunity to thank you (Jala) for all these years you have been fighting for us and staking your life, resources and efforts for justice to players and football in Nigeria. I am 100 per cent in support of your efforts. We must unity to get justice we deserve. God will protect you, bless you and your family. Great Work! I am very proud of you.”
According to Jala, the sum of N344 million has been recovered from a firm, which had rights to some of the league’s properties.
He said: “This recovered fund and indeed all funds recovered in category 1 will be disbursed directly to players, coaches and managers who have outstanding issues of unpaid salaries, match bonuses, and contract fees with their clubs.”
Jala said that the EFCC is also set to recover N1 billion outstanding title sponsorship fees for 2009/2010 football season from a title sponsor (name withheld).
According to him, NANF is working with the EFCC to recover looted funds in Nigerian football, debts and outstanding payments since 2010 till date.“It is in the light of the above that the NANF is calling on all players, coaches and managers, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of this fund, to meet their various clubs immediately to make their claims.
Meanwhile, Jala has said that the leadership of NANF is intact and that the process of change in leadership in the near future will be in consonance with Article 9 of the NANF Constitution in a transparent and open electoral process.