Sports Minister holds strategic meeting with NFF Executive Board on state of Nigerian football

*Meeting with NFF part of development-centered engagements with all sports federations

The Hon. Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, today Wednesday October 11th, 2023, held a strategic meeting with the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, as part of his series of engagements with all sports federations in the nation. 

The engagements with leadership of all sports federations are part of the Minister’s efforts to appraise the state of sports in the country, so as to drive a common vision of development, resuscitate, rejuvenate and reinvigorate areas that are not in tandem with its mission.

The Minister said that the Ministry will not run football or any other sports on the behalf of the federations, but instead it has a responsibility to play oversight functions and ensure the best interest of the nation is represented in the operations and activities of federations.

He added that the followership, interest, popularity and excitement that football generates around the country, necessitates why careful and intentional actions must be taken for the growth of the game.

“We must be open to dissecting some of the burning issues in our football,” Senator Enoh said. 

“This is what this meeting is about. Where are we as a footballing nation? What are our prospects? What are the plans? This sector is one where everyone is interested and wants to know what is going on.  We should address topical and trending issues such as the 10 year football master plan implementation, membership of the executive board of the NFF, the image of our league, amongst other issues. We must look at global best practices obtainable in thriving nations.

Senator Enoh remarked that all hands must be on deck for development to be fostered. He sued for all facets of NFF’s operations to thrive, including but not limited to coaches and players’ education, referees’ development, league management, national teams’ success governance statutes, etc.

“What is the development plan for the League, the players and referees? There are discussions surrounding the legislation under which the NFF operates. What needs to be done to that law to create the right consonance? What are the timelines for the implementation of the masterplan? Our overarching goal is that after these engagements, we will draw out action points that are contributive to the growth of Nigerian football,” he noted.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Abubakar, present at the meeting called for sporting resolutions to conflict. He noted that development can only occur where there is peace and stability, with all hands united towards progress.

Speaking at the meeting, President of the NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau appreciated the Minister for his passion to develop sports in the country. On the statutes of the NFF, he said the NFF’s Legal Department will synergize on the document, before an appraisal meeting on the document is held. He added that the NFF has plans on the development of players based in the League with Coach Jose Peseiro set to handle the CHAN Eagles going forward.

Also, General Secretary of the NFF, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi noted that the NFF has adopted transparency and accountability measures, especially with its finances.

The NFF delegation also included the 1st Vice President, Felix Anyansi-Agwu, Head, NFF Technical Committee, Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, NFF Chairman of Chairmen, Ahmed Yusuf Fresh, Head, Match Commissioners Appointment Committee, Babagana Kali, ace broadcaster and women’s football expert, Aisha Falode, former Deputy Governor of Nassarawa State and now Chairman of Nigeria Nationwide League, Hon. Silas Agara.

Other board members present include Timothy Henwan, and Chairman, Nigeria National League, Mr. George Aluo.

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