By Mathematical Ṣẹgun Ọdégbàmí
For almost 10 years I have been the defacto Chairman of a football club that is participating in one of the leagues in Nigerian football.
I am looking at the list of clubs in the present Lagos leagues, for example…. except for MFM FC….. big clubs owned by big guns no longer exist.
The club spends close to two hundred million Naira annually without expecting and even getting anything in return.
Last season, it did not participate in even a single football match or competition throughout the entire season. Yet it fulfilled all its financial obligations.
This season….it has invested again in the players, renewed its affiliations to the State and national bodies, and paid participation fees for competitions.
For all that….. the club played a total of 9 matches. That is their league season, done and dusted, for the year.
The team of players and their officials have looked forward to the only other competition left to be played, the FA Cup, to explore for progress in their careers, and for the club owners to justify spending those huge sums to support a non-productive enterprise that the game has become in the past few years.
A few days ago, a letter came from the Lagos State Football Association inviting the clubs for an emergency meeting…. the implication of the letter was….not to play any match but…to select one club amongst themselves to represent the State in the national competition.
The clubs swallowed the bitter pills and have gone back to nursing this charade in painful submission.
Meanwhile, the NFF, the owners of the FA Cup, had the annual calendar from CAF informing them of the deadlines for domestic competitions and when registration of the clubs for continental competitions are due.
Obviously, either incompetent, or distracted by other interests, they neglected to supervise their own competitions. In the end, the innocent clubs are made to bear the consequences.
In the last few years, the NFF have managed to turn the most prestigious, the oldest, most traditional, most participatory football championship in every football culture in the world, into a sham and a shadow of itself, in Nigeria.
This calls for the resolution that we have been touting and mouthing for years now – a football revolution…!
To read the full version of this piece, get a copy of any one of this Saturday’s edition of Complete Sports, the Guardian and Vanguard newspapers and enjoy the treat.
This article is also on my website. Visit by clicking on https://mathematical7.com/m7/?p=2804.
Wish you a happy June 12.