The Federation of International Football Federation FIFA, two weeks ago, slammed an heavy sanction (CHF 6,000) £4555.17 British Pound and forfeited three points for fielding ineligible player, Shehu Abdullahi on November 10 inconsequential world cup qualifier against the Desert Warriors of Algeria in Constantine.
In his reaction to the FIFA sanction and fine on the NFF, Germany-based Nigerian business mogul and proprietor of Moje queens FC of Kwara, Chief Muritala Awolola blamed the NFF for their nonchalant attitude towards handling important issues.
He frowned at the fine, three points deduction and three goals against Nigeria by FIFA, for ineptitude of someone in a department of the Glass House that has brought embarrassment to the whole nation.
He however, praised the courage of the NFF president, Mr Amaju Pinnick for taking responsibility and asking for Nigerians to pardon the association for the grievous mistake.
NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, had immediately apologized and accepted that the blame should be put on him for the ignominy.
Shehu Abdullahi who emerged man of the match in the game against Zambia that sealed Nigeria’s qualification to the Russia Mundial, was fielded out of negligence even after FIFA had communicated the football house, informing them that the player was ineligible for the game.
The consequence of this administrative ineptitude has seen Nigeria forfeiting the lone point picked up in that match while Algeria was awarded 3points and three goals.
The NFF was also fined CHF 6,000 (£4555.17)f or the negligence.
If it true that FIFA sent a memo informing the secretariat of the football house that the Cyprus-based defender was ineligible to play against Algeria, why was the directive disregarded? Who is behind this shame and whose interest was he or she protecting?
The first man to go in this latest show of shame should be the General Secretary who cannot feign ignorance of how Nigeria got in this mess. Three points deducted is a slap on the profile of Nigeria as a football Nation and culprits must not be allowed to go scot free.
The Nigeria government cannot sit back, fold its hands and watch a few persons perpetrate careless monumental waste all in the name of mistake. This is one mistake gone too far and actions must be taken to serve as deterrent.
Therefore, the needful has to be done in good time to leave the board with a slice of pride, if any, to hold on to after yet another administrative letdown.
To imagine that the match in question was meaningless and useless speaks volume as to why thorough investigation must be carried out and culprits adequately punished.
What if the deduction meant Nigeria was eliminated from the World Cup of which billions of naira was spent on to qualify?
Mr Amaju Pinnick must act fast and save face. Heads must roll. Whoever is found wanting after the investigation must be shown the exit door, pronto.
Same negligence meant the Super Eagles left the FIFA balls at the Apapa port for 6 months until the eve of the 2019 AFCON qualifying match against South Africa. Nigeria ended up reducing herself to playing a ball owned by the opposition in a vital Nations Cup qualifier and the result was there for all to see.
For how long are the football administrators, stakeholders and fans in the country going to fold their hands and watch these men drag the image of Nigeria in muddy waters?
Amaju Pinnick needs to do the needful by taking decisive actions to remedy the battered image of the country particularly outside the shores of her sovereignty.