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Veterans task Buhari on sports minister

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The Association of Sports Veterans of Nigeria (ASVN) has harped on the need to appoint a technocrat in the sport business industry as Minister of Sports by the incoming Buhari administration.

Speaking at a well-attended Annual Get-together of the Association in Lagos at the weekend, the President of the body, Chief Jonathan Ogufere, a highly travelled Sports administrator, former member of Nigeria Football Association (NFA) and past president of the West African Football Union (WAFU) said, such a move would arrest the present slide of the country’s Sports.

The Association of Sports Veterans Nigeria is an umbrella organization of sportsmen and women who have made their marks in the various segments of sports such as participation, coaching, officiating, supporting, management, administration and sport writing. It has as part of its aims and objectives, to contribute as veterans and professionals to the growth and development of sports in Nigeria through advice and suggestions based on the wealth of their experience wherever and whenever necessary in the interest of the country’s sports and to champion the course of its development.

Ogufere said the ministry of sports in the past has been used by past administrations as a dumping ground or a last resort in the appointment of Ministers of Sports where it takes incumbents years to understand the intricacies of present day sports administration and leadership at that level.

“This development accounts for the decline of sports over the year,” he said, pointing out the failure of past governments to fully appreciate the crucial role, which sports is excepted to play in nation building by giving the sector a quality leadership.

“Sports should be recognized as a veritable goldmine both for the country and its youth, which requires administrative leadership comparable to most corporate or commercial setups.

“With the potentials that Nigeria have and considering the strides taken over forty decades ago, Nigeria ought to be in the elite class in the world of sports like boxing, athletics, weightlifting, wrestling, football, table tennis and swimming.”

The Veterans posited that aside the office of Minister, there should also be a Special Adviser to the President on Sports, a position that should be occupied by someone with wealth of knowledge and experience in Sports Development.


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