Seven Things NFF Must Focus On, Other Than An Egoistic Influence On Anambra FA Election

The saga as regards the Anambra FA Election continues to form major fulcrum of football stakeholders discussion, but the real question remains that; Can the NFF use the same energy for this Anambra Saga on other pressing issues in our football, which includes;

The final league table
How football will return
How the women’s league will be sustained
How the COVID-19 FIFA Grants were managed
How the men’s league across division can growth & be self sufficient
How pending wages/bonus can be paid
How other National Teams can get their axes together with new coaches or continue with former ones

These are the very key issues affecting Nigerian football that the NFF must focus on and not an FA election, that was conducted through the right process.

All of these will only stay as a misplaced priorities from the NFF.

POOJA, Commercial Journalist.

Meet Aminu Kurfi Balele, the game changer, who is leaving his footprints in the sand of time

The story of Nigeria football cannot be complete without a mention of Alhaji Aminu kurfi Balele, the fast rising football administrator whose records on and off the pitch is gradually dwarfing the achievements of many who have spent over two decades in the corridors of football with virtually nothing to show for it.

As senior special adviser to the former executive governor of Katsina state Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, Balele who was also a former chairman of Katsina united, is the brain behind the rising profile of Katsina United as one of the emerging super powers of Nigeria football

His deep administrative manoeuvrings around the football circle helped to lift the Changi boys from their comfort zone in the NNL to the Nigeria professional football league, NPFL, after they finished as league leaders in the 2016 season before going on to win the NNL Super 4 competition, a result that catapulted them to the Apex league in the country.

Known for his forthrightness, admired for his doggedness and respected for his resilience, Dan Arewa as he is fondly called by his admirers is gradually winning souls from all sectors of the sporting fraternity. Many remember with excitement, the role he played in turning Katsina United into a brand that is now talked about, not only in Nigeria but in the whole of Africa.

He was the brain behind the quick completion of the Muhammadu Dikko stadium in Katsina state and used his influence to get the Golden Eaglets camped in Katsina on their way to winning the 2015 FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Chile.

That in itself, was a landmark achievement that will remain indelible in the hearts of the good people of Katsina state for years to come.

This easy going and very unassuming administrator, guided the Under-15 team of Katsina United to back to back finals of the LMC/NPFL Under-15 features and was also on hand to guide Katsina feeders to the quarter final of the AITEO Cup. All these achievements came without anyone blowing his trumpet.

In 2018, Aminu Kurfi once again applied his administrative ingenuity by single handedly convincing the executive governor of Katsina state, his excellency, Aminu Bello Masari to host the NFF Extraordinary congress.

This happened at a time when Nigeria football was groaning in the mud of crisis and uncertainty.

Katsina state government hosted over five hundred football stakeholders, among them, 44 delegates, in what turned out the best organised NFF Election ever held in the history of Association football in Nigeria.

This was the first time in the history of NFF elections that the winners and losers shook hands in agreement that the process was indeed very free and fair.

Despite his goodwill, this man has his few regrets as the NFF have failed to fulfil two key promises made to the Katsina state government on the eve of the 2018 election.

Firstly, they promised to build the first FA secretariate in the Katsina state capital and secondly, they made a special promise to the emir of Daura, Faruk Umar Faruk, that they will bring one of the FIFA Goal projects assigned to Nigeria, to the home of president Mohammadu Buhari.

Both promises have not been met till date as there are no assurances of any sort from the eggheads in the football house.

Balele is not deterred by these setbacks, as he has continued to contribute his quota to the development of football in the state and Nigeria in general.

Voted Katsina state FA chairman in 2019, this erodite and immensely intelligent politician who is well respected by the government and people of Katsina state for his rising profile as a key stakeholder in Nigeria football, was at the forefront of Nigeria’s participation at the 2018 World Cup in Russia where he helped Nigeria football federation officials and fans to sort out important logistics before and during the competition.

He also singlehandedly secured Max Airline for the NFF to help airlift the Super Eagles of Nigeria to Sfax for a crucial world cup qualifier with Libya in October 2018, and later Maseru for the return leg of a double header with Lesotho just last year.

He is the peace maker, a man who has continued to preach peace among football stakeholders. His philanthropic hand has touched the young and old in all the villages and towns of Katsina state and environs. He has touched lives and has not stopped doing his best in helping humanity.

Loved by the media, appreciated by the footballers, respected by club owners and other stakeholders and adored by the fans, Aminu Kurfi will always be remembered as the man who discovered the jewel or Katsina United, the pride of the Changi boys and a player that all football lovers in the state will love to call their beloved, he is Destiny Ashadi or better still, the Katsina Diamond.

“Kabiru Dogo Is My Best Nigerian Coach” Says NPFL ‘Mesut Ozil’ Ogunniyi Omojesu

Sunshine Stars marque midfielder, Ogunniyi Omojesu has described Kabiru Dogo as the best manager he has worked under as regards his football career in the Nigerian league .

The former Stationery Stores player stated this in a chat with 6th July media this Friday while acknowledging the tactical prowess of Dogo.

“The best coach I have played under is Kabiru Dogo, his experience and tactical ability makes him stand out for me”, he said.

The player who started off his football career at Via football academy before moving to Stationery Stores where he played for a season, can be likened to David Silva for his eye for pass and tricks with the ball.

Omojesu has since helped Sunshine Stars to ninth on the NPFL Log with 34pts from 25 matches before the Coronavirus pandemic.

He scored three goals in the process in 20 games which were against Adamawa Utd, Rivers United and Plateau Utd.

Jude Anyadufu: The Quiet Achiever, Akin Bolarinwa Writes

We, in the football community, have over the years noticed and passionately follow the quiet achievers, the silent football managers, and the peaceful performers.

Even though not everyone sees them in the same light.

Jude Anyadufu, Mike Idoko and Patrick Pascal are examples of the natural introverts, who display the talent, and exhibit anxiety of a typical and adaptive but nevertheless accomplished introvert.

Jude Anyadufu is a typical example of a person who you can give a job to, and he will do it very well.

Anyadufu is still achieving results while others are still arguing over roles and responsibilities, and who gets the most credit.

He has an approach of getting things done easily without stress. 

Usually on his own ability, and often, in his own time.

His antecedents and pedigree speaks volume of his rich knowledge of the local league in Nigeria.

It will interest you to know that Jude Anyadufu was a former private club owner and a former scout and recruiting officer for former league champions, Plateau United under Chief Layi Olagbmiro.

His scouting exploits did stop at one particular point, he was the scouting manager at Kano Pillars under Serikin Shanu of Kazure, Alhaji Adamu as chairman, and Tukur Babangida as the FA secretary then.

He was the man behind the scenes for late Chief Taiwo Ogunjiobi at Gabros International and Shooting Stars of Ibadan.

The former team secretary of Gukas FC is not a novice in the Nigeria football fraternity, he has paid his dues and has to be celebrated for a job well done.

“NNL Needs A Total Reform” – Seyi Akinwunmi

The 1st Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi says the Nigerian National League, NNL needs to be reformed in order for it to attract sponsor.

The Lagos State FA Chairman made this known while being a guest on Kwara Sports Arena this Sunday.

When quizzed on why the league regarded as the most important in the country is struggling, Akinwunmi responded that a big reform is needed.

“Having managed that league for one season in the past I can tell you that it was essentially a financial issue”.

Being the 2nd tier league it was very difficult to get sponsorship even at the best of times not to talk of times of a depressed economy.

“The NNL is a very important league but without Tv its a hard sell. My view is that it needs to be reformed to bring down the cost”, he concluded.

The NNL has been on before the Coronavirus pandemic with report of lack of funds being the bane of the league.

“It’s Simply A Fake News” – Shehu Dikko Refutes Claim Of Finishing The NPFL In China

The chairman of the League Management Company, Shehu Dikko has described as utter fake news the report making rounds that the LMC are considering concluding the NPFL season in China.

Dikko stated this while reacting to the news in Nigeria’s online WhatsApp football forum dedicated to the Nigeria league, “TANNN” this Thursday.

“Thank God you heard the Interview. It’s simply FAKE NEWS… Sad though this is how low some can go in the name of driving traffic to their sites…. Just yesterday Mauritania 🇲🇷 FA said they will be spending 3million Mauritania Francs (about $320k) to support their system and someone deliberately reported that they will be spending $3m USD so it will trend”, Dikko said.

There had been widespread report this Thursday of the league being concluded in China.

“MFM FC Cherishes The Church World Cup Than Winning The CAF CL” – Ilechukwu Reveals

Former, Mountain Of Fire And Miracle Ministry Football Club manager, Fidelis Ilechukwu has revealed that MFM FC valued the church World Cup it won that winning the CAF Champions League.

Ilechukwu in an interview with Journalists on Let’s Gist Naija this Sunday said the church World Cup triumph was a big one for the club owner Dr. Olukoya.

“The General Overseer actually valued the church World Cup we won that he’d cherish it more than if he wins the CAF Champions League”, he said.

“Winning the trophy wasn’t easy as our semi final game was the hardest for us but at last I am proud to have become the first black coach to win, a scenario that got me my first car”, he concluded

The gaffer who is now the head coach of Heartland also confirmed that he has a very good relationship with everyone at MFM till date.

He spent 13 years in Charge of the Olukoya boys from the lower division to the topflight, he also guided them to the CAF Champions League

“The NPFL Needs TV Right to Strive Again” – Media Aide To Minister Of Sport, Kola Daniel

The Media Aide To The Minister of Youth And Sport, Kola Daniel has advised the League Management Company, LMC, organizers of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL on the need to get things right as regards bringing back the TV deal to the league.

Kola Daniel stated this while fielding questions from journalists in “Let’s Gist Naija”, one of Nigeria’s online football forum this Thursday.

“I think the first thing the LMC need to do is to bring back TV right to do the league, as it plays a pivotal role in giving the league an international recognition which helps the players to understand that they need to give in their best because it can attract scout to them”, Kola said.

“The LMC also needs to seek for more sponsors and bring sanity to the league in terms of security”, he concluded.

He worked with Sportsmetro FM and Hot FM radio station. He had a stint at ITV.

He is one of the foremost online journalists far back 2012 with Africafootball and wwwscorenigeria.com.ng.

Kola Daniel was the Best sports journalist 2016 in TV category at Nigeria sports award and Best sport journalists 2017 at FCT SWAN Awards.

Kola Daniel was the media officer of SHEKARAU Babes in 2014. He is an LMC Match Delegate and Match Commissioner.

He’s presently the Special Adviser on Media to the Minister Of Sport, Mr Sunday Dare.

“Get Politics Away From The NPFL” – Seasoned Lt. Coach Law Urges LMC

Organizers of the Nigeria Professional Football League, the LMC, have been urged to get politics away from the league in order to make the league a point of reference in Africa and the world at large.

This was the submission of Lt. Coach law while fielding questions from section of the journalist this Tuesday in Nigeria’s football online WhatsApp forum, “Let’s Gist Naija”.

The seasoned coach said, “In simple terms, get politics away from the NPFL, give the league to professionals to handle. Get honest people involved and leave politicians out as politics can’t be missed with football”.

Lt. Coach Law is a registered Member of NIGERIA Football Coaches Association, The Provost of NIGERIA Football Coaches Association, AMAC Chapter, Fct Abuja.

Had an academy playing time in Nigeria in his growing up days in the Ancient City Of ABA, With YoungStars Football Academy, Argenti Football Club, Pepsi Football Academy and Enyimba Feeders, before relocating to Europe for Studies and trainings.

A professional Coach who believes in Talent Development at the Grassroots and Astute Administrator

A graduate of International Relations from Obafemi Awolowo University, In Nigeria and many other Qualifications in and Outside the Country.

LtCoachLaw is a Bible Teacher and Missionary Pastor of Calvary Chapel Church a Non-Denominational Christian Fellowship that is known for In-depth INDUCTIVE STUDY OF THE BIBLE with it’s headquarters in Costa-Mesa, California, U S.A. Coach Law, was a Pioneer Coach of Calvary FC Abuja, a team initially made of Street Boys from the Slums of Jikwoyi an Abuja Suburb, that took the city by Surprise in 2008 till Later 2013, When he was Taken to another Team to help develop grassroot talent.

Currently Coach Law is the Coach Of VINSPORTS FOOTBALL Academy, KURUDU VETERANS Football Club and also plays Advisory roles in many other Football Club in the FCT…

NPFL: Should The LMC Embrace The Abridge League Format ?

The year was 2018, the month was July, just after the FIFA World Cup, crisis rocked the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF and the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, was abruptly ended with Lobi Stars of Markurdi declared Nigeria’s CAF Champions League representative and nominal champions.

However, the big one was that, no team got relegated from the 2018 NPFL season and the total team to participate in the 2019 League season increased by four, make that 24 teams.

Huge problems for the LMC right??… Not to worry, the League Management Company led by Shehu Dikko after a meeting with club owners agreed that the 2019 League season will be in an abridge league format, Group A and B in order to meet up with CAF Club competition deadlines and align with the European Football calendar of August/May for the 2019/20 Season.

A Championship playoff was to come after the conclusion of the regular season and thus Enyimba were crowned champions of Nigeria for a record eighth time having won four of their five matches at the playoff also known as Super Six in Agege, Lagos.

With the success recorded in the just concluded season, how about if the LMC consider having the league in an abridge format.

Yes, 24 teams will no longer be involved as the number of teams moves back to 20 teams but putting into consideration the Nigeria system, one is tempted to have the league played in an abridge setting.

Now, the Nigerian system means a whole lot here, we blame the LMC for every single thing that goes wrong in the league while neglecting what might have been if we have a working system in Nigeria; all sectors working at premium.

Playing the league in an abridge format will ensure the sustainability of teams; teams will have less travel to make in order to attend games. Imagine an MFM FC traveling to Maiduguri to play a match against El Kanemi warriors, hectic journey right??…. The abridge league version will however give leverage for teams to play in their region thereby having a short distance trip to make so as to honour games.

How about if we look into players fatigue??… The bane last season wasn’t really the distance covered by players on their travels but the numbers of jam packed fixtures. Players play on a Sunday/Wednesday/Sunday timing which taking a clearer look into only works in the European leagues where there is a functioning system.

With the numbers of teams set to be twenty, an abridge version with 10 teams in each group will only mean a Sunday/Sunday match days for players. Less distance on the road, enough rest before the next match day, enough time perhaps for managers to also thinker their tactics.

Then, the Championship playoff. I only saw the last match day of the just concluded playoff and judging by what I saw plus the trend of the playoff on social media, one can easily conclude that it was a great football fiesta at the Agege Township Stadium – don’t remind me of Rabiu Ali and Kano Pillars please – the six best teams in the land converged, every match day had cracking fixtures, goals aplenty and then, worthy champions in Enyimba.

The championship playoff can be moved by the LMC every season to various states. This would also help some states that are yet to taste NPFL football to know what it really is to have league games in your vicinity. It would also see a huge climax to the NPFL every season if the abridge league comes in place.

Enough said, there are no define ways to playing a league, no reason to always go by the European league format.

Truth is, we need to learn how to do things in our best interest and choose what works best for us even beyond football organisation but as a nation.

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