The duo of Head of Safety and Security, Confederation of African Football (CAF), Dr Christian Emeruwa, and FCT Football Association (FCT FA) chairman, Alhaji Adam Mouktar Mohammed, have said that football administration in Nigeria needs an entirely new direction and needed to be run as business as it obtains around the world.
Emeruwa and Mouktar made the comments during a NFF presidential debate organised by the FCT chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) on Thursday in Abuja. Emeruwa and Mouktar are two of the 11 candidates eyeing the NFF presidency which election has been slated for Benin City, Edo State capital on September 30, 2022.
According to Emeruwa, Nigerian football will not develop if those at the helms of affairs in football administration keep doing things the same way and expect different results. He said there should be deliberate community development program and structures on grounds connected to the grassroots to develop young and upcoming players. He said the NFF can inculcate bodies like the Nigeria University Games Association (NUGA), Nigeria Polytechnic Games Association (NIPOGA) and other related bodies into its programs to nurture and raise talents from the nook and cranny of the country.
He said, “We need to change the way we have been doing things. It is time to go back to the grassroots. Go back to the structures that has to do with the game like NIPOGA, NUGA and others. There will also be community development program which is very key to our football.
“As NFF president, I will bring in experts that will develop the capacity of state FA secretaries for proper running of Nigerian football. My experience will be brought to bear in running our football the way it should. I study sports from first degree to PhD. I have served three Secretary Generals of the NFF at different times. I have been in FIFA since 2015. I understand the problems of Nigerian football and I know to fix it. Nigeria is a country with the largest economy in Africa but that has not been maximised to the benefit of football stakeholders.”
Mouktar said he sees himself as the best man for the NFF presidency. He said football as a business need heavy and structural investment in terms of facilities and infrastructural development that will not only attract sponsors to Nigerian football but change the course of the game in the 21st century.
“I can say that I’m the best-performing FA chairman in Nigeria and I consider myself as the best man for the job. I see myself as a game changer because football is a big business which I have been involved in in the 21st century.
In the last two decades, I have developed boys from the grassroots. I have invested my time and money in football and I know what is needed to develop Nigerian football and run it as a business it supposed to be. I have trained over 120 coaches and develop facilities here in the FCT and it is time to do that at the national level. What we need is infrastructure and facilities to develop our football and attract investors,” the FCT FA chairman stated.
Emeruwa and Mouktar believe that the time is ripe to start develop home-grown players for Nigerian football as was witnessed in the 70s and the 80s when Nigerian football was at its peak while also canvassing for developing of strong institutions rather than individuals who have taken Nigerian football to nowhere in particular.