Friday was the beginning of another year in the Gregorian calendar and I believe that individuals and organizations have articulated their plans for the year 2021.
I also have great plans for myself and the collective interest. I believe it will be well for the macrocosm which I refer to as Nigeria and a microcosm which i call Football. I say a big Amen
There is a saying that if “wishes were horses, beggers will ride”. Glad to say here that I am not a begger but expressing my views as a stakeholder in the Football Family. What are my wishes for Football in Nigeria in 2021?
The Uncertainties Of Times.
The outbreak of the global pandemic, COVID-19 has affected Football among other things. We have seen the effects on the various categories of our football even to date. We pray for a quick disappearance of the second wave of the pandemic globally.
I commend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the distribution of FIFA and CAF palliatives. I do hope that the NFF will sustain its support to the stakeholders especially the annual grant of N0.5 million with a possible upward review of the grant.
Better Deal or Representation oo Coaches, Players and Referees in the Management of Football.
The Nigeria Football Coaches Association, Nigeria Football Referees Association and the Players Union should be given the opportunity as Major Actors in the game to take decisions on Football Administration in Nigeria.
A More Effective State Football Associations
A number of State Football Associations including the Federal Capital Territory engage in laudable football activities. We hardly hear or see some States having one activity or the other. I think the NFF or the stakeholders should give each State targets which they must attain so that there will be greater competition among the States and invariably engaging our youths sufficiently.
Peace in the Football Family
I look forward to 2021 as year of peace and stability in the Football Family. Football is a potent instrument for peace and conflict resolution but most times the Nigerian football is not peaceful enough and a such is incapacitated to play a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) role in peace and conflict resolution.
Greater Commitment By Our Leaders
I appreciate the leadership in the football family for their effort so far. They must endeavour to do more. They must be servant leaders. They were elected by the stakeholders who also must be served properly.
All Stakeholders Should Play Their Roles Effectively
This is a year all stakeholders should be encouraged to contribute their quota to the development of football in Nigeria. Stakeholders should not be driven by their desires for personal gains, though personal gains are desirable but the drive for such gains should also attract some benefits to the overall development of football in Nigeria.
NFF Technical Department
The Technical aspect of Football without doubt is the most important in the game. Don’t get me wrong. Other aspects of the game are very important. The Department was reorganized recently. However, I wish to remind the NFF and the Leagues (NPFL, NNL, NLO and NWPL) of the need to set up Technical Departments for each League and supervised by the NFF Technical Department.
Let the NFF Development programme work well. The establishment of the age groups teams, Under 13, 15, 17 and 20 teams is commendable. They should have a long period of development which prepares them for competitions and enhances graduation to the senior teams.
I am excited about the grassroots Coaching Education programme approved recently. I am talking about the Berachiah/ Abigol Grassroots Football Coaching Course slated for the first quarter of of 2021 and the recognition of Football Coaches Association of African Nations (FCAAN) which is a Football Coaching Education body. This is a huge step towards the development and growth of our Coaches and Football in Nigeria.
I look forward to “Unity, Peace and Progress” in the Football circle in Nigeria in 2021. The workability rests with the LEADERSHIP and the FOLLOWERSHIP. Whatever we desire are achievable. With determination, they are realizable.