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We don’t have football clubs in Nigeria, says Onigbinde


Chief Adegboye Onigbinde

Former coach of 3SC Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), Chief Onigbinde Adegboye yesterday said the country was yet to embrace professionalism in its football, while insisting that there are no soccer clubs in the country.

Many football followers see most of the clubs in the country as mere political tools funded by politicians, who impose their party loyalists as administrators.

Lending credence to such beliefs, Onigbinde told The Guardian that many of the clubs are mere parastatals in many of the states, while those run by individuals are mere personal ventures.

“In Nigeria, we do not have one football club by FIFA regulations. FIFA regulation says that the governing body of any football club must be democratically elected. But among the clubs in the country, none conducted elections into their boards; be it Rangers of Enugu, Kano Pillars and the rest of them. That is the more reason why our club football is suffering.

“In 1984 or thereabout, I was in South Korea as part of FIFA’s delegation to that country. When they were to start professional football, the conditions laid down for the prospective club sides, only three clubs qualified and the professional league got off with only three clubs,” he said.

The former Super Eagles’ coach added that the non-adherence on the FIFA standard in the formation of clubs has created parasites, who reap where they did not sow.

“Here in the country we do not have a standard. There are a lot of things wrong with our club football. Most of the problems are administrative and not technical. Clubs like Ifeanyi Ubah, MFM and ABS are more or less private endeavours because they do not have boards in place. They must have boards, according to FIFA regulation, just like that of Arsenal and the rest of them,” he concluded.

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Onigbinde Adegboye
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