NFF’s 2nd Vice President/Chairman, League Management Company, Mallam Shehu Dikko on Thursday called on the nation’s football family to unite stronger than ever, as the present administration pursues the implementation of policies and programmes to take the nation’s game to higher heights of excellence.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of this year’s NFF Match Commissioners’ seminar, at the Merit House, Abuja, Dikko harped on the benefits of the football family remaining one indivisible unit, in order that the Nigeria game can witness even better results on and off the pitch in the coming years.
“We are currently witnessing a period of transition, as against what some people see as crisis. We need stability in the system; we need everyone to be thinking in the same positive direction. We have to acknowledge that unity is key in whatever we do.
“Whatever the issues are, the game itself should not suffer. Every disagreement or conflict can be resolved in the boardroom while the game thrives on the field. Those jurisdictions who appear so perfect have even more problems and disagreements than Nigeria, but they ensure that their conflicts do not affect the game on the field.”
Dikko called on the match commissioners to not only sustain the improved standards that have been witnessed over the years, but to take their conduct and performance to an even higher level in the interest of Nigerian Football.
In his welcome remark, Chairman of the NFF Match Commissioners’ Committee, Alhaji Babagana Kalli appreciated the passion and doggedness of the match commissioners in carrying out their duties, and assured that the NFF will continue to hold them in high esteem.
“The tremendous successes achieved by the various National Teams internationally over the past few years means a lot more eyes are on Nigerian Football, including Nigerian match officials (match commissioners and refereees) at home and internationally. Over the past two years, the National Teams have qualified for major championships in Africa and globally. From those championships, the Super Eagles won bronze at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt; the Super Falcons won a 9th Women Africa Cup of Nations title and; the Home-based Eagles won silver medal at the African Nations Championship. Recently, the Super Eagles drew 2-2 with Ukraine and then, 1-1 with five –time world champions in friendly matches.
“All these great performances invite attention on Nigerian Football from the outside world, and match officials – including match commissioners – are also under focus. This is why it is important that at all times, we must maintain our integrity and dignified conduct, and give good account of ourselves without fail.”
The seminar was for match commissioners in the Nigeria Professional Football League, Nigeria National League, Nigeria Women Football League and the Nigeria Nation-Wide League.
Also at the opening ceremony were NFF Executive Committee members Ibrahim Musa Gusau, Yusuf Ahmed Fresh, Chidi Ofo Okenwa, Mohammed Alkali, Sharif Rabiu Inuwa and Musa A. Duhu, NFF’s Director of Technical, Mr. Bitrus Bewarang (who represented the NFF General Secretary) and Members of the NFF Congress.