Ministry tasks NFF on September general elections, revamp of national league
Orders appointment of coaches for home-based Eagles, others
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has charged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to set up machinery for the Federation’s general elections, which are expected to hold in September this year.
The ministry has also directed the NFF to set up a three-man technical crew for the home-based Eagles and invite 30 players to the team to start preparations for upcoming competitions.
Rising from a meeting with the NFF and representatives of the Presidency following the country’s failure to qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, expressed his determination to overhaul the country’s football ecosystem.
According to a source, who pleaded anonymity, the meeting took an interim report and review of the failure to qualify for the World Cup, after which it deliberated on steps that would urgently reposition Nigerian football and rescue it from its current state from the grassroots, the leagues to the national teams.
One of such steps is the immediate restructuring of the local league, with the ministry insisting that the Super Eagles’ inability to qualify for the World Cup was a manifestation of the failure of the league to produce players for the national team, the source disclosed, adding that the minister requested for an immediate status report on the league after which he would take further actions.
The source, who was part of the meeting, added: “The meeting agreed to search, set up and announce a three-man technical team of Nigerian coaches to handle the home-based team.
“Select and invite 30 players from the Nigerian league to camp immediately with the ministry helping with getting a conducive campground for the team;
“The NFF must, as a matter of urgency, come up with an upgraded plan to bring the Nigerian league up to the standard seen in South Africa, England, Spain etc. The league must be able to produce players good enough to play in the senior national team, the Super Eagles.
“The NFF should set in motion the plans to hold its elections in September 2022. They should roll out the plans without delay; and, immediate commencement of the search for a competent foreign technical adviser, who must be subject to evaluation and must have an understanding of the developments around our football and government plans.”
According to the source, the minister hinted that consultations were ongoing to get the Federal Government to directly pay the wages of the new technical adviser, while the NFF would handle other logistics.
These plans, the minister said, would ensure that “Super Eagles bounce back hungrier, stronger and better so they can restore joy and happiness to the hearts of Nigerians by qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire in grand style.”
He charged the NFF to ensure that the CHAN Eagles or rather Home-based Eagles, Olympics Eagles, Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets are adequately prepared to do the nation proud, adding that the Super Falcons, Falconets and Flamingos should not be left out as they prepare for their different International competitions.
The source revealed that the minister acknowledged that even though there was a deliberative process and decisions taken, the failure to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar is an opportunity to begin that difficult process of fixing the source of the problems that have plagued Nigeria’s football development.