Anambra State Govt. Lacks Constitutional Powers To Stop FA Elections

Anambra State Govt. Lacks Constitutional Powers To Stop FA Elections

By Ugochukwu ‘Thanos’ Ifeanyi

Association Football is a global sport, synergized and supervised by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) as directed and controlled by the International Football Association Board (IFAB)

Anambra State Football is associated to FIFA through the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) which is in turn associated to FIFA through the Confederation of African Football (CAF). This means that FIFA laws are binding in its entirety, on all these aforementioned bodies

Whilst FIFA and CAF have managed to be 100% self sufficient, the NFF is still trying to figure out how to go about it but in Anambra State, thanks to the total lack of interest in Sports and Football in particular, the Anambra State Football Association has been 100% self sufficient for years now

It is on record that the State government is yet to organise any relevant sporting activity, just as it is brazenly clear to see that the celebrated inter house and inter school games have been long forgotten.. The last time Anambra witnessed such a state event was in the first tenure, mainly because the predecessor had put things in place before he handed over and thus, it couldn’t be halted but since then, nothing has happened in the Sports sector of Anambra State

It is also on record that the Governor, as at the time of penning down this article, doesn’t have a Special Adviser on Sports nor Special Assistant nor Senior Special Assistant on Sports and the Sports Ministry of Anambra State, has been diluted and corrupted by an unrelated sector, rendering it basically null and void

Members of the newly elected Anambra State Football Association Executive Committee Board

In the bid to appear to be Sports friendly, the Government set up the Sports Commission whose greatest achievements include playing an active part in the attempted hamstring of the Onitsha marathon which by the way was an international event and approved by IAAF not to mention that the greatest feat of this commission, is organising road walks of about 1km monthly

The Anambra State Government cannot boast of an amateur club while states like Abia, Delta and Lagos have at least 3 clubs run by the State Government 100%!

So if the State Government cannot build a standard stadium for ndi Anambra to use, or own a least a club in division Z or even actively sponsor the professional clubs already existing in Anambra State, then what gives it the locus standi to have a say in how things run in FA?

NFF statuses as adapted from the FIFA laws, explicitly grant the power of authority to the Congress to reelect, postpone, usurp or annul elections, based on substantial evidences as endorsed by the Electoral and Complaints committees

The Anambra State FA followed every due process as stipulated in the laws, the board members stepped down as required, forms were advertised accordingly, room was given for complaints and due date fixed for elections

The stance of the State Government on the postponement of the FA elections is not just ill advised but laughable as the State Government is NOT a stakeholder in Anambra State Football by virtues of its nonexisting support to the game and even then, citing covid-19 as an excuse is even most embarrassing as it showed the Government lacks the knowledge of the basic tools like Zoom, which can hold a conference video call and elections held virtually… Even the President of Nigeria has held his NEC meeting using this medium

So if covid-19 is the fear, the election has the right to hold virtually as then, the fears would be allayed without breaking any laws and this would have been reflected in the letter, if the Governor had a proper team of Sports personalities to guide him accordingly but unfortunately, the reverse is clearly the case

With the elections done and dusted, Anambra State FA must now move to improving the quality of football in the State, as well as using their good offices to attract positive advancement as soon as possible

With Ifeanyi Ubah returning as the State FA Chairman and also doubling as the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Sports, much is expected both from the development of human resources to the establishment of a well oiled structure for our teeming youths to exploit and develop their potentials

The Anambra State Government must positively align with the Anambra State FA, to deliver the best of footballing dividends to ndi Anambra

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