Musa Amadu, a presidential aspirant in the upcoming Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Elective Congress, on Tuesday harped on the need to get it right in the country’s football administration.
Amadu made the remarks during his official declaration to run for the office of NFF President in the federation’s forthcoming elective congress.
The NFF Congress had adopted Sept. 30 as date for its 2022 Elective Congress in Benin City at the end of its 77th General Assembly held in Lagos on Thursday.
Amadu who is a former NFF General Secretary, said his plan to ensure that things were gotten right in the administration of football in the country from 2022 had been outlined in his 22-point agenda.
“My aim is to ensure that the 22 points are well harnessed to build a complete and totally unique Nigerian football culture where everyone associated with the game is a stakeholder.
“We want to build an image of Nigerian football that will make the Nigerian person walk tall in the street anywhere in the world.
“We want to create opportunities for people who hitherto would not have had a chance to be anywhere near a football field.
“We will create job opportunities that will take our youths off the streets, football opportunities that will empower every sector of our society and create gainful employment.
“And what about those that are in the game? We want to create the real feel-good factor, a sense of belonging in the long run.
“In short, for those that come into contact with the game and those who would not have had the chance, we will give life-defining experiences that will be unforgettable,” he said.
The former NFF General Secretary also said part of his plans was to develop the game at the grassroots.
He promised to work closely with the State Football Associations to unearth the best talents in the game and give them a future.
“We will work closely with the State FAs to enhance the principle of sports and fitness in our schools, finding the best talents not only on the playing field, but also in all other areas of football management and operations,” Amadu said.
He lamented the fact that while Nigeria was blessed with almost 1,000 footballers playing in Europe’s top leagues all over, it has only won three Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophies.
The former NFF General Secretary said it was time to bring those glory days of Nigerian football back, adding that he would not relent until trophies were won for the country.
“Our players are doing well in their various clubs, (Victor) Osimhen is banging in goals, as is (Emmanuel) Dennis, whose transfer fee is a staggering 20 million pounds.
“(Wilfred) Ndidi is commanding the midfield, and (Calvin) Bassey is the young one we are all proud of. There are many more, yet we are not ranked at the top of the game in Africa.
“No disrespect to other nations, but Nigeria has to take a pride of place at the elite level, making podium appearances at most tournaments at all levels.
“I will set up a National Teams Management Board that will oversee all Team Nigeria matters beyond just the playing side of things, and bring back the glory days.
“Those days that we got used to while I was General Secretary must come back! We just need to get it right,” he said.
In terms of the development of women’s football in the country, he said that the women and girls who had brought pride to the nation on and outside the pitch deserved better.
He said that there was a need to give women football at the domestic level the funding it deserves.
”We will drive sponsorship towards the country’s products, league and officials by engaging proven consultants with integrity.
“We dominated women’s football in Africa for so long, so much so that we assumed it was our birthright.
“Now we have seen the reality, the reality is that the gap is closing on us.
“We need to step up our game, and give women’s football what it is due. Not just for the Super Falcons, but the further development of women’s football in Nigeria.
“The global debate on gender pay disparity is gaining ground, and we will look at it actively with respect to our women teams,” Amadu said.
He promised that a Musa Amadu Presidency would be accountable to the nation, adding that the NFF’s relationship with the government was also key.
“We always run to government when we need funding for our projects, but we cry foul when they show an interest in what we are doing and call it interference.
“We are partners in progress and will maintain partnership and create an NFF/Government Liaison structure that is workable, as has been working in many countries I have had the opportunity to visit and understudy.
“We will be transparent and judicious in our use of the FIFA Forward Funds that come from Zurich, and work very hard to draw sponsorship to supplement what FIFA does for us.
“We will operate more transparently to earn the trust of our stakeholders, sponsors, government and ultimately the over 200 million Nigerians who love the round leather game,” Amadu said.