The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare says the issue of contract extension for Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr lies with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The minister gave the clarification on Wednesday in Abuja at a brief meeting with Rohr before dashing for the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the presidential villa.
Rohr’s current contract expires in June 2020 which will fall to the middle of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers.
Dare, however, stressed that the ministry would continue to give the coach all the necessary support as the NFF finalises its meeting on the contract talks.
“The issue of contract (with Rohr) will be best handled by the NFF, I understand the need to work the fine lines.
“I understand there is a contractual arrangement with the NFF, I will allow the NFF to work through its process, ” the minister said.
Dare charged the coach not to be distracted but intensify efforts to take Nigerian football to the pinnacle.
“Are we happy about where our football is at the moment, not exactly but we know there’s an ongoing process that we make this country a better football nation. That process is on and you are part of the process”,he added.
He tasked the coach on working with stakeholders to develop the Nigeria Professional League (NPL) in line with international best practice.
” More importantly your knowledge and support for the domestic league will be very important because you can share your experience with our local coaches, ” the minister said.
Earlier, Rohr congratulated the minister on his appointment and efforts to reposition Nigerian sports.
He pledged to work more closely with the minister going forward as the Super Eagles strive to pick the AFCON 2021 ticket.
High point of the event was the presentation of an autographed Super Eagles jersey by the coach to the minister.
Nigeria currently top group L of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers with six maximum points ahead of Benin Republic, Sierra Leone and Lesotho.
Edited by Joseph Edeh/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
We stand by elections we conducted, Anambra FA Electoral Committee says
The Electoral Committee for the 2020 elections into the nine-man Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) Board and 20 Local Football Councils (LFCs) on Tuesday defended the process it midwifed.
The process, which led to the re-election of incumbent Ifeanyi Ubah via electronic voting on Sunday, has since been rejected by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
A committee member, Obinna Dike, however told newsmen in Awka that the committee executed its task in the interest of football and all stakeholders.
”We did our job as expected by all stakeholders, including the Anambra public, football community, candidates and delegates,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee, which started work June 1 with sale of nomination forms, conducted elections into the board and LFCs through electronic means.
This followed the suspension by the state government of the elections, which were scheduled for July 27 and July 28 respectively.
This was on the grounds that physical elections would flout the COVID-19 preventive laws which were still in force in the state.
“The Electoral Committee was unable to conduct elections on July 27 in view of Anambra State Government’s letter to it complaining of the violation of the COVID-19 protocols in the state,” it stated while announcing the names of members of the caretaker committee billed to be inaugurated on Wednesday.
But Dike, who is Vice-Chairman and Head of Media and Publicity of the Electoral Committee, said the committee was able to execute its task to a conclusion.
He pointed out that this was in spite of the enormous pressure on the committee by those hell-bent on cutting corners.
“From inception, we advertised the sale of forms and ensured that every process was done in the open and most times reported in the media.
“We refused to get involved in the politics of the FA, and stood by our resolve to conduct the elections in line with best practices.
“This did not go down well with some powerful interests in the state.
“We updated the government with developments through the Anambra State Sports Development Commission, by briefing it on our activities regularly.”
Dike however said the committee was startled by the suspension order of the government which came 48 hours to the exercise.
“This process was transparent, free and fair, in line with the mandate given to us.
”We had to ensure that it came to a conclusion because there were innocent people who followed it and indeed everybody was invited to be part of it.
“We were surprised that government which had been part of what we were doing came up with that order because of COVID-19.”
He added that the committee went on thereafter, after obeying government’s order, to find a way to complete the process.
”We said since that was the process, let us obey and find a way round it to ensure nobody was endangered, and that was how the board gave us the nod to use e-voting.
“We are glad to have done our job well, and the winners have been issued their certificates and the process has ended.
”So, it is up to the NFF to decide what to do with it.
“However, as for the caretaker committee being put in place, it has been on the table for some time. That was one of the options they were brandishing in our face, with so much pressure.
”So, we are not surprised. But we are not politicians,” Dike said.
He went on to advise that whatever was happening at the Anambra FA should be in the best interest of the game, and he expressed confidence that the committee would be vindicated.
“I am a Catholic Reverend Father, and I have my integrity to protect and it is still in tact.
“So, on behalf of the committee I want to endorse every bit of what we have done. Only the future will show the role everyone has played.”
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
NFF appoints caretaker committee for Anambra FA
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Monday constituted a 6-man caretaker committee to steer the affairs of Anambra State Football Association for the next three months in the first instance.
This came less than 24-hours after the Jude Anyadufu led electoral committee set up late May concluded its task on Aug. 2 with a virtual election which returned Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, the incumbent chairman for second term.
In a statement issued on Monday, the NFF said the caretaker committee became inevitable following the expiration of the Ubah led board on July 28 and the inability of the electoral committee to conduct the elections.
It would be recalled that the board and local football council elections were scheduled to hold on July 27 and July 28 before the Anambra government ordered the suspension of the exercise on July 25 citing breach of COVID-19 safety protocols.
The NFF said the caretaker committee led by Emmanuel Okeke had the mandate to conduct elections into the board and the LFCs between Aug. 4 when their appointment became effective and Nov. 2 when it would elapse.
The interim committee would be inaugurated on Aug. 5.
“Recall that the tenure of the Board of Anambra State Football Association and the Anambra State Local Football Councils elapsed by effluxion of time on April 30 and May 2 respectively.
“Arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and the general lockdown, including football activities, the ASFA Congress was convened on April 28 leading to the extension of tenure of the Board and the LFCs, for another three months, which again expired on August 2.
“The Electoral Committee was unable to conduct elections into the Board of ASFA and LCF on July 27 in view of the Anambra State Government’s letter to the Electoral Committee complaining of the violation of the COVID-19 protocols of the State.
“Art. 85 of the NFF Statutes 2010 provides that ‘the Executive Committee shall have the final decision on any matter not provided for in the Statutes or in cases of force majeure.
“Consequently, the Executive Committee of the NFF in its wisdom, and in order not to create a vacuum do hereby constitute a Caretaker Committee for ASFA as follows: Emmanuel Okeke, Chairman and Victor Nwangwu, Vice Chairman.
“Others are Nonso Philip, Member; Charity Okonkwo, Member; Onyeabo Chimezie, Member and Onyedika Chijioke Secretary.
“The Caretaker Committee is to administer the activities of the Anambra State Football Association and also conduct elections into the Board of ASFA and LFCs within three months, effective from Aug. 4 to Nov. 2.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
NFF says there were no elections in Anambra FA
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Tuesday in Abuja said there has been no election into the executive committee of the Anambra State Football Association.
Ibrahim Gusau, a member of the federation’s Executive Committee, made this disclosure in a statement released by Ademola Olajire, the federation’s Director of Communications.
“What took place in Anambra on Monday and which some stakeholders have dubbed `an election’ was a charade of very low grade, and the NFF will never recognise such a sham.
“That was an act of brigandage and the NFF fully dissociates itself from it,’’ he said.
“The letter had requested that the elections into the State FA and the Local Football Councils (LFCs) be postponed, in line with the situation in the country, since the ban on sports activities and mass gatherings was still alive.
“This same Electoral Committee issued a press statement on Monday, informing the general public that the elections would no longer hold.
“It had also expressed regrets about the inconvenience the sudden postponement may have caused the candidates, delegates, observers, stakeholders and the general public.
“In view of this situation, it is incomprehensible how anyone could have gone ahead with the charade they are calling `election’.
“One begins to wonder who actually conducted the so-called election,” he said.
Gusau, who is also Chairman of Chairmen of state Football Associations (FAs), went further to say that the act was an affront on the state government.
“It is irksome, and let it be said without ambiguity that the NFF does not recognise such a sham and it cannot stand.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a group of football stakeholders had gone on to conduct an election in Awka on Monday, in defiance of the state government directive.
The election had produced the incumbent state FA chairman, Ifeanyi Uba, as winner of the chairmanship position.
The state government had asked that the elections be postponed in view of the COVID-19 protocols, while the Elections Committee had obliged this request and postponed the elections.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Cleric enjoins Christians to show appreciation to God
The Priest-in-Charge, St. Stephen’s Methodist Church, Akpugo, near Enugu, Very Rev. Charles Ogbunisi, has enjoined Christians to show appreciation to God in order to attract His unlimited blessings.
Ogbunisi gave the advice in a sermon at a thanksgiving service for late Mr Chidi Ofo-Okenwa, the Chairman of Enugu State Football Association and Executive Member, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Sunday.
The cleric, quoting from 2nd Samuel, Chapter 7, verses 1-5, noted that nothing moves God more than a grateful heart filled with appreciation and thanksgiving.
He reminded the congregation that the Bible says that in all situations people should endeavour to give thanks to God.
“Men should know that we really own nothing. Even that which you think you have is given through God’s grace.
“So, why will it be hard for you to take a little from all you have to appreciate God for so much He has blessed you with?
“An appreciation with a cheerful heart can never go unnoticed and will be rewarded by the Almighty God, giver of all good things.
“In the holy scriptures, David gave and God in return, made his throne to last forever,’’ Ogbunisi, the Presbyter of Ebenezer Circuit, Methodist Diocese of Agbani, Enugu state, said.
Speaking, Mr Ikem Okenwa, brother to the deceased, thanked the church and the cleric for the service and for standing by the family in its trial time.
He also thanked the NFF and its subordinate bodies, football clubs, the committee of friends of the deceased and other groups for their support and roles in making Ofo-Okenwa’s burial a success.
“On behalf of the Okenwa Aneke extended family, I thank you people for standing by us; we pray that sudden death will never be your portion,’’ he added.
Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Ejike Obeta (NAN)