Nigeria's Withdrawal From International Football Competition

The writer, Majek Adega confused what was done with what he assumed was done. What was done was that the federal government dissolved one of it's executive agencies, the Nigeria Football Federation, "NFF," which is an agency under the Ministry of Sports. Essentially, government did what Adega wants to have done, which is: suspend the incompetent and yet-to-be proved-corrupt executive officials of the NFF from further action operating the NFF and start the process of re-organizing the agency.
The re-organization is necessary to manage many of the issues raised by the writer, including cheating on the age of players, improper preparation for competition, mismanagement of the finances of the agency and more.
 
Perhaps, the decision to take the measure taken came as a surprise and could have been done differently after study and investigation. Nigeria clearly has the right to withdraw from football competition by resigning from FIFA under Article 16 of the FIFA Statutes (August 2009 edition). To invoke that provision, NFF was required to send notice of resignation to the general secretariat of FIFA before July 1, 2010, for effective resignation as of December 2010.
 
Nigeria has not followed procedure and I expect FIFA to not recognize the president's directive to withdraw from football competition. The drama is not over yet. Did the right person send the right notice to the right place and did it get there at the right time? My answers to all these questions are NO, NO, NO and NO!
 
Article 16 of the Statutes says a "member may resign from FIFA....[and] notice of resignation must reach the general secretariat of FIFA no later than six months before the end of the calendar year and sent by registered letter.
 
The member of FIFA is the NFF not the president or the minister of sport. A member of FIFA acts through its chief executive officer, in the case of the NFF the general secretary. Under Article 17 of the Statutes, FIFA will not recognize the president's decision to resign as it was not made by the authorized person or body. The president is not such person or body.
 
Assuming FIFA accepts the Nigerian president's directive as notice from "a member" of FIFA, was the notice sent by "registered letter'? Did the 'registered letter" reach FIFA before July 1, 2010, for the resignation to become effective as of December 2010?
 
My guess is, with how Nigeria operates, (see the drama that led to the 'doctrine of Necessity" that brought in the president himself), no registered letter reached the general secretariat of FIFA by July 1, 2010. But I could be wrong. We will wait to hear from FIFA on this technicality.
 
Assuming FIFA even accepts Nigeria's resignation, Nigeria cannot just come back to play international football when Nigeria is good and ready in two years time. Nigeria must now apply for admission under Article 10 of the Statutes. The requirements for admission are elaborated upon in the Regulations Governing the Admission of Associations to FIFA.
 
Because it may not be easy to come back into FIFA, we should study closely a decision to resign from FIFA. We can resign now but we may have to beg to get back in. Considering that there are technical failings in the notice of resignation and that FIFA has not even acknowledged the directive to resign, and may not accept it, we can still correct the failures of NFF. In other words we can throw out the bath water without throwing out the baby!
 
There are many things wrong with the NFF and there are many things that have been done well in football by Nigeria in spite of the incompetence and yet-to-proved corruption of the NFF officials.
 
EFCC, when it starts doing its work, can investigate and prosecute the NFF. The NFF elections can be monitored and any election impropriety prosecuted by the ministry of sports using Nigeria criminal laws. Any of the indicted officials can be suspended from participating in any agency of the government. Yes, the process is not easy and quick but it is the correct method.
 
Concerning elections into NFF, Nigeria National Assembly, "NASS," when it starts working for the $1 million-plus yearly take-home pay per legislator, can revise the statute - the minister of sport can submit a NFF revision bill to the NASS.
 
One revision can be that the president appoints the bodies of NFF as appointment is allowed under Article 17 of the FIFA Statutes. Other measures relating to funding, maintaining accounts and others consistent with Nigeria laws and FIFA statutes can be included, if NASS starts doing its job for the $1 million take-home pay per legislator, that is!
 
In addition, the government does not have to handover funds to NFF without conditions and supervision. FIFA does not allow political or governmental interference in NFF operation, but the government can impose conditions on any entity seeking government money, including the submission to governmental monitoring and supervision. It will be the NFF submitting itself to supervision and monitoring and not interference by government when NFF goes to government for funding because NFF cannot self fund as do other independent associations.
 
If we re-organize and put credible people into the NFF and obtain accountability for the funds given to this agency, we will see the different result in football competitions that we wish to have.

 
 

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...Disbanding the super Eagles team was a bad judgement and withdrawing them from all international competition and exposure for 2 years will do more harm than good. It is a rash decision with dire consequences and it is foolish and dreadful. It will spell disaster. Rather than disband the team or players (who are not permanent fixtures) the manager can choose not to select or feature 'the players' again. And the coach is not the problem. Mr Las Lagerback fielded our best players, which is where the problem lies. If he had good quality players in the ilk of Ronaldo, Messi, Roben, Tevez, Lucio etc, may be it would have been different. Our administrators need to put in place programs to find these talents and while they are still young. Not when they are past their prime. They can be found amongst the 150 million population. Let us harness the strength in our numbers.

...Unfortunately, Nigerian sports has become a sad reflection of the Nigerian society at large, where nearly all the systems and structures have either collapsed or are dilapidated. And what is responsible for this? I rest the blame entirely on bad management and leadership. Get the right leadership and managers in charge, devoid of ethnocentric sentiments or tribalism and Nigeria will once again rise...

...We also need to overhaul our whole sports administration, from Hockey to Tennis, to Atletics, boxing, etc (not by disbanding the practitioners). When did Nigeria last feature world stars or beaters? And why can't we, in a country of about 150 million people? Why can't we find Northerners (similar in built to the Kenyans and Ethiopians) to produce marathoners? We cannot find at least one Igbo boxing star or weight lifter? A calabar wrestler? A Rivers or Lagos State Swimmer? A Lagos/Oyo State Table Tennis star (another Atanda Musa)? Lawn Tennis star like Nduka Odizor and other states to once again produce the Chidi Imohs, Innocent Egbunikes, etc. The answer to the above questions is, until we find the right people and put them in charge. They can then go on (with their foresight) to harness our diversity for our common good...

A sensible approach, solution or suggestion for Mr Jonathan is to conduct an enquiry or a post-mortem (although outcomes of enquiries are not made known in Nigeria, going by past experiences). This enquiry would reveal a number of judgement errors and poor/bad management decisions by the NFF, and up to the Sports Minister. A lot of wastage, for instance. Too much delay in appointing a new manager and poor preparation. NFF members are forced to resign bcos of this. Then he appoints (elects) new members that are sound administrators, visionary and strategic and experienced managers of people and organisations. (Emphasis on experience). Don't pick just anybody, NO. That is our major problem in Nigeria. Just anybody will not do, sorry. Not even an ex-footballer. Being an ex-footballer does not qualify you to lead or manage people or an organisation. If you can't find them in Nigeria, then search the globe (where we have a lot of sound Nigerian Managers and administrators).

...Only in Africa and other junk countries do rulers end their term in office looking fresher than when they started (after corruptly enriching themselves). Clinton, Tony Blair all became grey haired by the time they left office. Obama is almost grey haired in just about 1 year. This is bcos they are constantly thinking on their feet and weighing the implications of their actions and decisions on not just their people but the whole world. If they can't stand being criticised then they have no business in governance or in government. If you can't stand the heat then don't even step into the kitchen. If you don't have what it takes then don't go near public office, unless you have substance to contribute. A lesson for our 'leaders'.

@ Deri - I've monitored and observed your posts for some time and your point of view is always inconsistent. If you are not praise-singing or worshipping some fellow, you are zealously defending another. Your dig @ Carl Cash (who btw is more sound, logical and exposed than you and makes better sense) is baseless. Leadership is all about accountability. Our leaders are (or ought to be) accountable to us the people. That is the way modern democracies go. Critiquing a Govt is part of democracy, to get them to sit up and do the right things. The western media and the people constantly hold their govts accountable. Hence they have good governance, successful policies and better living conditions. Watch the regular gruelling that the British PM goes through at Parliament on BBC, for a taster of what it means to govern a people...

@Patriot Olu or OLUMESI A..A - I recognise your patriotism. But what is this Satguru stuff? You and those around you must be very successful, going by your belief in this guy, hence you are selling his stuff. What has Satguru got to do with serious discussion about our failures, poor leadership and poor judgement and decision making? Does one need Satguru to appraise the problems and failures of the Nigerian team and the Leadership? GJ must be a bad leader (or a magician) and suffers from poor judgement syndrome to have had unrealistic expectation of the Super Eagles, who only got together 3 weeks before the World cup started, when other serious countries have been together longer. Our fire brigade approach to preparing for competitions and events has not left us and it is always our downfall. If you want the best then give (put in) your best, so the saying goes. Did GJ and NFF put in their best to ensure that Nigeria did well at the World cup?

This is a president that should be busy tackling the enormous problems and issues challenging his country in this 21st century and he is busy with the frivolity of World cup!!!!

Withdrawing a country's team from FIFA for 2 years is like completely withdrawing your child from school for his/her failures, besides the super eagles is not president's Jonathan football club, he can not withdrawl them without recourse to the the National Assembly.

It is a very stupid idea, if every Country that didn't do well in the world cup withdrawls their respective teams, the tournament will cease to exist.

Everything is sick in Nigeria,why single out the eagles.Jonathan should face our problems.I don't have light right now,Jonathan should address the problem of electricity,corruption,dilapidated infrastructures,poor remnuration for civil servants.The super eagles is the least of my problem now.

You need unusual cures for unusual itches! I see an opportunity for nigerian football, if it is properly structured, to reinvent itself, a la nollywood which was birthed from crisis. The net result is that talented youths who would have fallen prey to unscrupulous gents or falling into vice will find ready outlets to display their talent. Nigerians know good football when they see it and naturally will troop to stadiums to watch it and have the numbers to support it(150m people). Consequently all these nonsense about 'me I support Barcelona', 'my own na Chelsea' will reduce and we can begin to focus on players in our own league who possess the true nigerian 'anything is possible' spirit. Naturally people who do not have any business in this set up will disappear.

Come to think of it,this is a strategy to deviate the minds of Nigeria from asking him questions about the 10B naira party and all the wrongs things going on in his government. The Prof wrote about this strategy some weeks ago on how OBJ created NIDO to distract Nigerian and this is what this Idiot we called President is doing now. The only problem is that it will not only distract Nigerian but will set Nigeria football backwards with FIFA ban unlike that of the NIDO that only distracted the agitators.

Thanks Clem, I'm also fed up of this Sat Guru Maharaj rubbish. Why would any black person want Hinduism when they have a caste system were dark skinned people are seen as inferior? Anyway, FIFA has just said Nigeria has till 6 pm to reverse its decision, or it'll get banned. I don't think resignation is an option, it'll cause chaos. FIFA is the only footballing body for the world so adhering to their rules isn't about wanting colonialism. Nigeria should have disbanded NFF without the announcement about banning the side from international competitions. If everyone did this there'll be chaos. England played pathetically yet Cameron hasn't banned them.
We should condemn NFF but support our players. And the death threats against Kaita are simply wrong.
And it should be ok to condemn Jonathan's actions when he's wrong. Unless people can speak freely, no democracy will flourish.

The last World cup was funded 95% by the Federal Government (900 Million) and the National Team/NFF failed woefully. I think because football is funded by the FG the people need NFF to be accountable to the government and the Nigerian people……FIFA cannot ask the President of a nation to reverse a pronouncement that has been made already. This is all about sovereignty.

(1 – 4): Carl Kash or whatever you called yourself. You are not the only person that knows how to use abusive words, IDIOT! People like you are just useless noise makers that want to be noticed. How long has this your Jonathan been in control of your useless Country called Nigeria? Where were fools (the all knowing masters) like your useless type been all these years? Check out your type like Ayo Fayose, Nnamani, Imoke, Ibori, Andy Uba, Bankole etc all from Diaspora; what is/were their contribution to leadership qaulity in Nigeria other than looting and corruption? Listen to yourself - Jonathan has found a major DISTRACTION to occupy the minds of football-crazy Nigerians -. Hello? Last time I checked, Jonathan is President of “football-crazy Nigerians”, dummy! If NFA & FIFA want a perfect independently run organisation, its high time they provide 100% finance for their organisations (mainly in Africa).

(2 – 4): FIFA and NFA want autonomy for football bodies that are run with government fund? If FIFA is serious in calling the shot, they should take up full responsibility of funding all their affiliate associations. It is irresponsible on the part of FIFA & NFA to always run to government for fund and expect little or no control on how those funds are spent, or account for failure in achieving goals as set by the government that pays their bills! You don’t run and profit from an organisation and expect another to pick the bills without any say. We are talking about accountability here.

(3 – 4): When a serious government spent people’s fund (Niger Delta’s oil money) either in awarding road construction project, building of power plants, construction of runways or reaching semi-final stage of a world cup (which NFA signed with Government while collecting fund); it’s the responsibility of that same government alone to decide on how to sanction failure in implementing or achieving those set goals. If NFA & FIFA don’t like it, they should please return all funds collected from the government! NFA fail or breach world cup contract signed with the Nigerian Government, so Jonathan is right in sanctioning them the way and manner he chooses.

Fellow nigerians GEJ acted on security reorted before him. NFF is a place where Br. Gen. Dominic oneya blackmail Kojo Williams for him-oneya to become NNF chairman just to feather his nest.

(4 – 4): So Carl Kash and co, you lot can hold your useless thought to yourselves! Whenever you have the courage to contest election in Nigeria became president of your useless country; you can as well hand over the running of Nigeria to your colonial masters and their agencies like FIFA! As long as tribal bigots that know nothing about either playing or organisation of football bodies are appointed to NFA for the simple fact that they came from born to rule tribes, Nigeria should forever withdraw from any thing that has to do with football till those that know one or two things about the game is allowed free hand of putting NFA in order. Where are the Odegbamis, Christain Chukwus, and Stephen Keshes etc? You lot know how to run every thing….talk, talk, talk …active talkers and master of every thing and failures of ALL thing good!

Any Nigerian or anybody or the federal house of representative that is against the decision should go to hell. The bulk stops on his table. I know GEJ acted based on information that cable and massive coruption at NFF.NFF is a place where people like Brig. Gen Oneya RTD blackmailed kojo williams just for him to feather his nest. Go GEJ, GO GEJ.

Abonema Wharf rats like carl cash and finekilo, will not wait to analyse issues properly before selling thier ignorance to the public. Just the mention of Goodlucks name, is enough to see them scamper from their dirty ethnic holes-we shall also be here to chase them to the lagoons of their smelly tribal conscience-yesterday, they called the aborted london fiasco a CULTURE OF WASTE. Here is a body that blew 2.8billion in just 2 months, with nothing to show for it. And because it involves the owners of their kidnapp outfits IN SPORTS, talk the Buharis and IBBS must. All because Abiola won Plateat state without the help of his ancestors.Where was Carl Cash, when Buhari constested the last election? Was he not ditched just likey they are attempting to do to IBB?

Thanks Nitor, for a well researched,direct and unambiguous article. I am disappointed and worried that Mr Goodluck could revert to a weapon of mass hysteria usually employed by the likes of IBB to divert attention from more pertinent issues all in a bid to garner popular support,sympathy and create a 'we' mentality.
The problem with NFF is that of the malaise in the Nigerian society, our set of values are now perverse and tend towards the satisfaction of our pecuniary needs and all else be damned. A lot needs to be done but I do not think the NFF is the right place to start, I stand to be corrected.

@Clems, You think the Problem of Nigeria can be tackled through talking, the Truth is that Our problems are far more than what we think, surviving in this world as a progressive nation cannot only be achieved by brainy and intellectual discusions, it requires the Spiritual Understanding and divine knowledge to make Change Happen. Our leaders behave the way they do because they are manipulated by higher spiritual forces to do so, and it is only with Maharaj Ji can they be guilded to achieve their desired dreams

Watch out Ms Patience! Eagles not so lucky, Goodluck just ran out of patience with the NFF. Looks like a warning sign sister. Just kidding. On a serious note, how I wish that Goodluck could react same way against corruption, electricity etc.

Are we still talking about the "Flying Turkeys"

I Know Goodluck Jonathan out of fear of failure will unleash a wave of dictatorial directives -hire and fire is not the best way to deal with Nigeria's problem and if we really serious about reorganizing Nigeria football, 2 years is not enough, how come there is no credible people to advise GJ on this ? how come Nigeria leaders make mockery of this nation. incremental and strategic choices, measurable with preparations for the nations cup is the way to go..sports development is a function of time, strategic, trial and error, successes and failures..we cannot build a system that will deliver world class soccer in Nigeria in 2 yrs.

I have said it times without number

Having a PHD from Nigerian Universities is not necessarily being educated.

Jonathan is uneducated, incompetent truly clueless as to what to do and when to do things.

His ministers and special advisers and role models are all birds of same color and nest.

@Olu...
Please stop this your Satguru maharaj talk please
Go and look for other site like NL,leave people with brain to say something.
nonsense

FIFA will come down heavily on us (and probably ban Nigeria from competing in the next world cup), now he has successfully ruined the opportunity for our U-16 & U-21 from participating in the 2014 world cup event. Nigeria is suffering from epileptic power supply, corruption; from the presidency to the street sweeper, worst roads ever in the world, lack of basic needs of life - clean water, health and food, poor infrastructures, security issues, over-inflating contracts is a norm, accepting bribes a social protocol. And his priority is disbanding the super eagles.

His decision may sound popular in Nigeria but the consequences will be far reaching in the next 4 or 8 years on the next generation of footballers coming up, who won't be able to participate due to a FIFA ban. He should have just got rid of the bad apples in the bunch and elect better former sportsmen to take manage NFF. Ok, if this is the way to go, he should have disbanded the house of assembly and his whole cabinet and he himself resign for not doing what he promised to do - provide electricity, power, good roads, well equiped hospitals, security, fight corruption, police indiscriminate killings and the likes. What is Bankole still doing in the house, Why hasn't IBB, Mr Maradona been probed?

Well informed article. Looked from any angle, Goodluck have just made a monkey of Nigeria again; policy somersault laden with inept and shallow reasoning. He left what he should do, to do frivolities!

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