Why Nigerian clubs lack independence – Pinnick

By Aiyeku Timothy December 31, 2015 10:00

Why Nigerian clubs lack independence – Pinnick

President of the Nigeria football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pinnick has lamented the over dependence and ownership of Nigerian clubs by the government, citing the instance of Taraba FC players sleeping outside the State Government House to protest unpaid salaries and allowances.

Pinnick made this known while speaking on Channels Television program, ‘Sports This Morning,’ noted that the Taraba FC incident would not have occurred if clubs were owned by private individuals.

The saddening situation where Players of Taraba FC slept on the bare floor and in the cold for about a week to simply protest their unpaid salaries and match bonuses was earlier reported by Post Nigeria.

See: EXCLUSIVE: Why we should all be ashamed of the Taraba FC disaster

Efforts to have all stakeholders including the state government and the League Management Company, LMC, come to the rescue of the ugly situation within the protest period failed as no one attended to the players as they were allowed to sleeping outside for days.

“Nobody even came to talk to us. Since Monday, we’ve been sleeping in front of the government house. Even right now we are still there.” Team Captain, Usman Mohammed told Post Nigeria.

However, the NFF President while lamenting the situation maintained that the LMC is on top of the situation and are working hard to ensure that such situation does not arise in future as he affirmed that clubs must be independent of government.

“I also want to add that going forward, the best option will be for us to have Clubs that are independent of government control; Clubs that are owned by communities and individuals. We will inter-face with the Governors’ Forum to kick-start this process.

“We know it will not happen in a month or two, or even in a year. But our objective is to have Clubs that are properly run, and stadia that are so friendly that whole families can go and watch football matches without any anxiety.”

The former FA chairman described the current economic situation facing state governments and the entire country as reasons why clubs can no longer depend on governments for finance, adding that clubs must devise means of getting sponsors to play players.

Meanwhile, Pinnick stated that the numerous awards being bestowed on his person and the NFF in general is testimony that the present administration is steering the Nigeria game in the right direction.

Recall that the NFF boss was recently awarded the Football Personality of the Year’ at the Awards Nite of the Edo State Football Association that took place in Benin City, adding to awards he received from leading national newspapers, The SUN and VANGUARD, as ‘Sports Personality of the Year,’ at award ceremonies to take place in the year.

See: Pictures: Highlights of Nigeria’s sports in 2015