Controversial former member of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Gara Gombe Ahmed, has called on President Mohammadu Buhari to set up a Presidential Committee that would look into the administration of football and other sports in the country.
The committee, he said, should look into areas such as structuring, management, funding, and legislation, noting that it is now obvious Nigeria’s football is beyond the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, and his executive committee members.
The idea behind the proposed Presidential Committee, Gara Gombe said in an interview, is to speed up the genuine reform process the sector has been yearning for with a view to repositioning it.
He further contended that what the sector needs urgently is to be privatised to give it the right image and pave way for accountability and transparency, which would encourage corporate sponsors to key in effectively to harness the potentials of the game. Gara Gombe said: “In short, there should be at least three years transitional programme aimed at zero appropriation for sports. Such would encourage only those with deep passion and interest to administer the game selflessly to come forward and be at the helm to form the executive committee. These claimants that know only their private pockets would naturally give way.
“The home truth remains that we need a holistic and different approach to realistically move this sector forward. Amaju and the other presidents of federations have shown that they have no capacity to manage the sector; it looks as if this crisis will consume Pinnick, FIFA intervention or not. It will then spread to other federations as wild fire.
“For instance, in football the committee members have hidden under ‘FIFA will ban the country’ to extend their ineptitude for so long, which is why President Buhari must call FIFA bluff and lets us use this opportunity that presented its self on a platter of gold and engage in far-reaching reforms that would leave football cum sports reborn in the country once and for all.”
The former boss of Gombe State Football Association emphatically pointed out that NFF factional president Chris Giwa and his supporters are no alternative at all. He described them as opportunists, opponents, confusion-driven lots whose intention is to trade Nigeria’s football. He insisted that Giwa and his boys goofed by resorting to the courts and must be stopped as they don’t have the good of the game at heart.
“It is all football politics,” Gara Gombe said. “Unfortunately, Amaju Pinnick and his team are rookies on the scene, and they don’t know their left from right when it comes to crunchy times like this. This is injury time; only the fittest would come out clean. Shameful it is lingering since 2014. It resurfaced because it was not expertly handled. The Minister, Solomon Dalung, has tried his best to bring sanity to the house; sadly, such truce has been bungled several times. This is the time to put our football in order.”

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