Abia FA Cup, A Big Joke

Abia FA Cup, A Big Joke
Abia FA Cup, A Big Joke

The Abia State Football Association Cup has come and gone, but the overall organisation leaves much to be desired.

The Football Association led by Dr Obioma Onyeaghala who goes by the sobriquet Revo, demonstrated a high level of incompetence in organising the biggest football competition in the State.

With the monies paid by clubs as registration fees, one would have expected the State FA to do better with organisation. Unfortunately, the reverse was the case. In fact, the organisers of a village football competition seem to be ahead of them.

The Abia State Football Association displayed a high level of cluelessness, negligence, and total disregard for clubs especially the premiership club sides in the State. It was more or less a one-man show, as the Chairman of Abia State FA did the work of the secretary, treasurer, Public Relation Officer, Chief Security Officer and Chairman of all the committees.

Despite having a technical committee, the FA Chairman went ahead to single handedly choose venues for marches. Venues some football academies can never use for trainings were approved by the FA Chairman. Imagine taking a giant like Enyimba International Football Club to a village school with a hard bumpy field to play a match, and Abia Warriors FC to a Secondary School with a pathetic field despite outcries from football stakeholders and followers. 

Three Enyimba players sustained injuries from playing on that poor turf. It took a miracle for Abia Warriors not to have any injury concern. 

During games proper, there were no ball boys, no medical team, the fourth officials were inappropriately dressed, and there were no balls from Abia State FA for matches. They shamelessly relied on teams for balls on matchdays.

Prior to the semi final games, Revo stirred up  controversy by distorting the fixtures. 

From the original fixture chat, the semi final pairings clearly states that Abia Warriors was to play Miracle FC while Enyimba International FC was to play Ahudiyannem FC, but for motives which could be best described as ulterior, Revo arrogantly changed the narrative. This was aside the shenanigans he has been displaying since assumption of office. Even when some executive members of Abia State FA asked him to maintain status quo, he was adamant. He dared anyone to challenge his decision.

 To many, his actions were not surprising going by his antecedent: he doesn't take advice, he is all knowing, he lacks respect for himself and for others, he had a penchant for fermenting trouble, and he is cocky.

Personally, I do not know if his cockiness is derived from the self assertive nature of one who knows his onion or arrogant characteristic of a super brat.

Well, Abia Warriors was having none of his abracadabra and duly petitioned the Nigeria Football Federation. The football authority rightly overruled Abia FA after Revo could not defend his act.

In the finals proper, the Abia FA failed to extend invitation to the Executive Governor of the State or the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development. There was no standby ambulance. They relied on balls from both teams. There were no medals for the winners and runners-up. No publicity whatsoever was made prior to the final showpiece. Even chairs for the VIP stand were grossly inadequate that some VIPs had to stand, and some sat on the tiled floor to watch the game.

Occasion like this, is an opportunity to celebrate football and those that have contributed immensely towards the development of the round leather game, and of course, those that have paid their dues in football. Imagine the FA not recognizing the presence of Uche Okechukwu, former Super Eagles captain; Finidi George, AFCON winner and Coach of Nigeria champions Enyimba, and some notable figures. It's indeed an aberration.

A cursory look at the affairs of the State FA indicates that all is not well. The Abia State FA Chairman is yet to convene an official meeting where football matters would be discussed by the executives members. Some executive members are not happy with this development and they have openly expressed their displeasure on why the Chairman should run the FA as his personal enterprise.

The Chairman only informs members about any activity to be embarked upon on their WhatsApp group, and before anyone could say Jack! he has approved money on the said activity and executes it without the consent of the executive members.

With Revo at the helm of football affairs in Abia State, it is no surprise that the FA Cup was organised in such an embarrassing manner. 

The FA Cup competition should be an opportunity to promote football and identify talents and chat a way forward for development of football in the State. But for Abia State FA, led by Revo, it's a mere school inter-house sport, which is a big joke.

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