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Controversial football analyst, Barrister Godwin Dudu Orumen, has again stirred the hornet nest, blasting FIFA for what he described as.....
Controversial football analyst, Barrister Godwin Dudu Orumen, has again stirred the hornet nest, blasting FIFA for what he described as “over indulging Nigeria.” He said the world soccer ruling body acted like a toothless bulldog in handling the Nigeria’s lingering football crisis.
Orumen, who could not understand why Nigeria has continued to escape FIFA’s hammer despite her excessive flouting of rules and regulations of the football governing body, said FIFA have actually over-pampered the country. He maintained that Nigeria was treated like a sacred cow by FIFA, when ordinarily the body ought to have brought its hammer down on the country long before now. He insisted that FIFA’s soft hand on Nigeria has been unfair to other smaller nations of the world.
“To be honest, I think FIFA have for long behaved like a toothless bulldog in handling Nigeria’s football matters,” the barrister turned sports journalist told Saturday Sunsport.
“All the fire and brimstone the body had threatened to rain on Nigeria in the past have paled into nothingness. I mean, FIFA have over-indulged Nigeria for reasons they alone can explain.
“For quite a long time now, the Ministry of Sports has been interfering excessively in the nation’s football matters. This is something FIFA’s statute tells us is against the rules, but they have continued to allow it to happen here.
“I don’t know why Nigeria has been enjoying such a free hand. I think it’s a departure from the norm; it is something completely at variance with FIFA’s position. But they have allowed us to ride on that and have chosen to indulge us for too long.
“FIFA may have their reasons for doing that, but I think we have been over-pampered and treated with kids’ gloves. If what has happened in Nigeria in the past months happen in some other countries, FIFA would have slammed them. But let’s hope at the end our football would be better off for all these.
“However, for some of us who have a different view, it’s worrisome,” he said even at the risk of being branded enemy of Nigerian football.
Orumen was consistently critical of erstwhile ministers of Sports and Social Development, Musa Mohammed and Saidu Sambawa, for breathing down the neck of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA). He believes the meddlesome activities of both men contributed to stripping the NFA of whatever autonomy they had, which, according to him, was why the Glass House could not put their acts together.
“Obviously, the NFA do not have any independence,” he said. “The kind of independence they require to operate as a result-oriented entity doesn’t appear to exist.”
He told Saturday Sunsport that FIFA’s peace plan at the Abuja NFA’s extra-ordinary congress was not all-embracing. That in addition to restoring peace to the Nigerian football family, FIFA ought to have also resolved the independence issue of the NFA from the Sports Ministry.
“For me, FIFA were more interested in bringing calm to the NFA and not in the FA’s autonomy. The FIFA’s representative at the Abuja congress should have gone the extra mile to discuss the independence of NFA.
“In any case, let me believe that peace has returned to Nigerian football now, but what follows is my question.
“If the game plan, which routed the Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima-led board out does not bring sanity into the football house, then it was a charade.”
Orumen’s view about the new Sports Minster, Engineer Bala Ka’oje, is that with him, Nigerian football would witness less interference.
Hear him: “With Ka’oje, I believe the scenario is a bit different. I have had the privilege of talking with him. I think he has demonstrated an understanding about the mechanics of the FA/Sports Ministry relationship.
“I believe he is less likely to become a football minister alone, who would want to bother himself with the day-to-day running of the FA. As far as I can tell, the NFA would be like any other association. Perhaps, that would be the point of departure.”
But the veteran football analyst maintained that Nigeria could only witness a new NFA if those, who would be elected at the August 28-29 elections, would be credible people who know their onions.
“But again, everything depends on the quality of the board membership. What we need there now are people of starling qualities, who have good profiles and passion for the game. They must have good understanding of the language of corporate Nigeria, whose money they badly need.
“Once the people with these backgrounds come on board, they should be given powers to run the NFA as an independent entity. But again, if they were unable to exercise it or do not know how to exercise their powers, it would boil down to the same thing. However, if one fails to do his job well, we will do it for him.”
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