2022 NFF Election: Unbundling A Federation’s Selfish Statutes
Under this part, I will be looking at some of the articles of the NFF Statutes 2010, especially articles 22 and 33 in highlighting the drawbacks and flaws of the composition of the NFF Congress and allocations of voting slots which violates the basic principles of fair representation of all the families of the NFF in Congress
Before we go into the details of articles 22 and 33 of the NFF Statutes, let me first of all settle a fundamental issue that has to do with status of Football Players in terms of their premium importance as a member of the NFF vis a vis other members of the NFF family, that is the State FA’s, the Clubs or leagues, Referees, and the Coaches.
There are have some negative reactions to the claim by PFAN officials of Project 2022 taskforce that players are the most important group in the NFF Congress. This position has been seriously criticised with the view that the Clubs are the most important, because they are the employers of labour (the players) and not the other way round, especially as it was amplified by one of the paliametarians during the Sports Paliament TV Program that featured both the President of PFAN Tijani Babangida and Chairman of PFAN Task Force on Project 2022 Harrison Jalla on Thursday night
Now the truth remains and absolutely so that Football Players are the most important people in the football setting than the Clubs. You know why, because the players can do what the clubs owners are doing, which is providing employment for players through establishment of Clubs, while on the other hand the Clubs can not do what the players do, which is playing football. There two clear examples amongst others to showcase the importance of players over the clubs.
1 FOUNDERS OF BACELONA FC
The history of Futbol Club Barcelona goes from the football club’s founding in 1899 and up to current time. FC Barcelona, also known simply as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The team was founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English and Spanish footballers led by Joan Gamper. The club played amateur football until 1910 in various regional competitions
2 BORUSSIA DORTMUND FC
Borussia Dortmund was founded in 1909 by eighteen football players from Dortmund, the football team is part of a large membership-based sports club with more than 145,000 members, making Borussia Dortmund the second largest sports club by membership in Germany
From the two examples above , you can see how important the players are to football, they can Play , Coach, Administer and establish Football Clubs. They are truely the owners of the game. Inspite of the players premium status in terms football ownership, the fact still remains that clubs and players are the ones that should dictate what happens to the game of football in terms of structures , ownership and governance. In fact they are joint owners of the game and should get larger share in the allocation of seats and voting rights in the Congress of the NFF. This is exactly what PFAN is challenging. That you are doing something wrong for a long time doesn’t make it right. Infact it is foolishness to be doing the same thing over the years and expect a different result
Now let me show you a third example while the clubs and players should cut the short of who should constitute and determine what happens in the Congress. Please read this little literature on SAFA
The South Africa Football Association SAFA of 1892 was the first association on the African continent to become affiliated to FIFA. SAFA withdrew from FIFA in 1924 and later regained full membership in 1952.[
In November 1954, the South Africa Sports Federation ,SASF attempted to join FIFA. In May 1955, FIFA concluded that SAFA does not have “the standing of a real national association” because it did not control all clubs, there were more clubs and players with SASF than SAFA. From my little understanding from the FIFA stand point, it is very clear that it is Clubs and Players that determines the status of National Football Association or Federations. In other words there will be no NFF or state Fa’s without the clubs and players. So its time for us to possess our Possessions
I will look at the vex issues associated with Articles 22 and 33 of the NFF Statutes in part 3 . Have a wonderful time
Comrade Austin Popo
SECRETARY BOT PFAN, Member PFAN Task Force on Project 2022