Erstwhile President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi, has said that he felt bitter and sad with the state of Nigerian football.
The country’s senior national team, the Super Eagles, failed to berth a place in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), while the defending FIFA U-17 world champions, the Golden Eaglets were bundled out of next year’s African U-17 AFCON by the Junior Menas of Niger Republic meaning Nigeria would not be available to defend the cadet World Cup title.
Speaking shortly after being honoured by the Kogi State government last weekend with Sports Excellence Award as part of activities marking the state’s 25th anniversary, Lulu declared that as a Nigerian he was sad with what was happening to Nigerian football.
“Naturally as a Nigerian and someone who has served at that level, I feel so bitter, I feel so sad,” declared the former NFF boss However, the former Director of Sports at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, appealed to Nigerians to give the current NFF board the opportunity to redeem itself by correcting whatever that might have gone wrong.
“We should give the actors the opportunity to transform the system in line with what the Federal Government wants,” he said and admitted thatthose running the affairs of the country’s football were going through some challenges.
“Though, during my tenure at the NFF, we never had the enabling environment and we were so definite on the type of contracts we entered into because for you to succeed, you must look for a genuine kit sponsors and ensure that they live up to the terms of their contracts.
“There is no doubt that those saddled with the responsibilities in NFF now are going through some challenges because they are wearing the shoes now and know where it pinch them.
“I believe they should be able to plan properly, identify sponsors and make sure that all the sponsors live up to their responsibilities by fulfilling all the terms of the contract which should be to the benefit of Nigerian football. I think this can be done; it is all about determination and commitment,” Lulu stated.