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The Anambra FA Conundrum

These are not the best of times for our football! Last week, I wrote here about the round leather game that has been kick-started all over the world.In Europe, football started and ended. Resumption dates are specific
Spain - September 12, 2020
England - September 12, 2020
Italy - September 19, 2020
Germany - September 18, 2020
France - August 21, 2020
Europe you said?
The Zambian league is on, the South Af￾rican league will kick off tomorrow, August 8.
While we are waiting for the Nigeria Pro￾fessional Football League to resume by
"September/October other distractions have crept in, the latest being the annul￾ment by the NFF of the Anambra FA elec￾tions.
How time flies. Whenever I see that video of the FIFA
President's visit to Nigeria, I see Senator
Ifeanyi Ubah in the forefront. I remember
that less than four years ago, he was the
bride of the NFF. His house was available
for dining and wining, his cash free to solve
bottlenecks and rescue the NFF from em￾barrassing situations.
His, Club FC Ifeanyi Ubah, was the talk
of the town and journalists sponsored to
Nnewi came back to write bibles on the
stadium that will be "...the best in Af￾rica...
How time flies. Today the NFF does not
want to hear the mention of the name,
Ifeanyi Ubah.
What went wrong? When? Where?
This may be a story for another day.
Today, we are focusing on the elections
into the Anambra FA that is causing a lot of
fracas in the sports media space. From what
we gathered, the NFF sent two of its board
members Mr. Emmanuel Ibah (FA Chair
Akwa Ibom) and Ibrahim Gusau (the Chair
of Chair), to "monitor the FA elections in
Nnewi.
Before they could meet, the State health
authorities wrote that due to the Covid-19
pandemic, the football body needed to write
seeking permission to meet. Being a Fri￾day, the election was postponed and Gusau
and Ibah went back.
Another interesting twist in the tail of the
story is that by Monday, the tenure of the
Ifeanyi Ubah led executive would have
expired and they needed an extraordinary
congress to effect an elongation even for a
month. By that Monday, the Election Com￾mittee went ahead to hold an election which
Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, the sole candidate,
was returned unopposed.
The NFF kicked.
In a release by the NFF Communications
Department the election was described as
a "charade. Even as a Caretaker Com￾mittee was set up with a three month life
span to run the affairs of the association
and plan for the next election... "The Ni￾geria Football Federation has set up a Care￾taker Committee for the running of the af￾fairs of the Anambra State Football Asso￾ciation, following the expiration of the ten￾ure of Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah-led executive team
and pending the conduct of fresh elections.
The tenure of the Caretaker Committee,
which was inaugurated in Awka, the
Anambra State capital, on Wednesday, August 5 2020 will be for a pe￾riod of three months...
The NFF argued further that the tenure of the Ifeanyi Ubah led board had expired
over three months ago, but due to the coronavirus pan￾demic it was extended. "Re￾call that the tenure of thBoard of Anambra State Football Associa￾tion and the Anambra State Local Football councils elapsed by effluxion of time on 30th
April 2020 and 2nd May 2020 respectively.

Arising from the novel coronavirus pan￾demic (COVID-19) and the general
lockdown, including football activities, the Anambra State Football Association Congress was convened on 28th April 2020 leading to the extension of tenure of the Board and the Local Football Councils, for another three months...

Emmanuel Ibah on his part is of the view that there was no need to rush the elec￾tions. "Senator Ifeanyi Ubah is the sole candidate. An extraordinary congress would have further approved even a one month extension, pending when the FA would have sorted out the Covid-19 proto￾cols with the State Government.

Mr Chris Green, chairman of the Rivers State FA, thinks otherwise. According to
Green, the NFF has no business "monitor￾ing the elections of the Anambra FA which he described as an "independent body.

In a piece entitled Nff Must Emulate Boy in Viral Video And Calm Down, Mr Green said the Anambra FA elections was legiti￾mate.

He said "...State FAs are affiliates of the NFF and not a division and so care must be taken when dealing with issues that con￾cern them. FIFA cannot act on any inter￾nal affairs of the NFF. They lack the juris￾diction.

"NFF can only come in when there is break-down of law and order or acts ca￾pable of bringing the game into disrepute, jeopardy or injure its integrity. This also applies to the NFF and its affiliates.

Green, a former board member of the NFF, remembered that in 2014 NFF elec￾tions in Warri, Musa Amadu, the then NFF general secretary wrote inviting FIFA to come and "observe, not monitor the elec￾tion.

Due to busy schedule, FIFA could not make it, and after the elections, the results
were sent to them and they acknowledged. Incidentally, Mr Green, who is the SA to Governor Wike on the Real Madrid Foot￾ball Academy, is also under attack, accused principally by Dr. Soni Uboh, general man￾ager, Go Round FC, of perpetuating him￾self in office.

Dr Uboh says the tenure of the Green executive expired on January 2019, ex￾tended to June 2019, yet in 2020 Green was still holding on to power.

The chairman of Katsina FA, Alhaji Aminu Balele Kurfi, leads the bandwagon of those supporting Senator Ifeanyi Ubah's election.
He is of the opinion that this amounts to the "humiliation of the chairman of the Anambra FA.

Balele went ahead to call on the chair￾men of all State FAs to "rally round Ubah
as he seeks to find a way out of the present political logjam.

He is reported to have "challenged all FA chairmen to rise up and speak stressing that what is happening in Anambra State today will happen someday in the other 36 States if something urgent is not done to address the situation.

The paradox of his call is that State FA Chairmen dominate, the NFF board. This
is definitely a test case, whose outcome will most likely draw our football back.
The argument of those sitting on the fence, who are neither here nor there, is that Ifeanyi Ubah deserves to be wooed. We are looking for people like him, the
Dangotes, Otedolas, Adenugas. We are looking for well-to-do people with footballpassion and interest to come and help de￾velop our football.

"If they see the treatment Senator Ubah is receiving do you think they will come?
They will not. No wonder Dangote wants to buy Arsenal, no wonder Nigerian com￾panies put their monies on sports events and competitions abroad... - Assiak Odoro, an Uyo-based civil servant and football en￾thusiast argued.
Till next week, by His grace


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