Football stakeholders want Anambra FA board to emulate Blatter

AWKA – Football enthusiasts in Anambra say the planned resignation of FIFA President, Sepp Blatter should be the standard to apply at all levels of soccer administration.

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The stakeholders in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka equated the self perpetuation in office by FIFA president Blatter as the same in Anambra State Football Association (ASFA).

Arthur Ebunam, chairman of old Rangers International Football Association, Anambra State chapter said it was high time leaders respected the feelings of the people.

Ebunam urged all past leadership of ASFA board to drop their ambitions to return and instead allow fresh hands to come on board.

He added that 16 years was enough for anyone to have made impact in the state football.

“I am impressed that we still have people who are sensitive to the yearnings of the people as Blatter’s planned resignation is yet another worthy example,” he said.

Olisa Aniuno, a member of Sports-for-All Committee, a body under the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), while applauding Blatter for the bold step, said he should not have re-contested his position.

He hailed his latest move as being in the overriding interest of the majority.

Aniuno, who is also contesting for chairmanship of ASFA said having spent 18 years and at 79, there was nothing for blatter to add to football.

In reference to Anambra, he urged members of the dissolved board of ASFA who still want to re-contest to emulate the Blatter example and allow new administrators to step in.

“A good leader should plan his for successor that can help to build on his success. In Anambra the past leadership has done well and after 16 years, I think it’s time for them to exit the stage,” Aniuno said.

Jude Obikwelu, immediate past vice-chairman of ASFA said the idea of indefinite tenure for an administrator was a major flaw and should be reviewed.

Obikwelu who is gunning for the chairmanship position recommended a fixed three-year tenure with an option to re-contest three times.

“In Anambra, we have similar situation and there is a lot of lesson for us to learn,” he said.

Emmanuel Okala, veteran Green Eagles’ goalkeeper said although length of time helps because of experience. “However, it has its disadvantages which include a loss in focus’’.

Blatter won his re-election on May 29 in Zurich, before pressures built up to compel his move to relinquish office as soon as an extra-ordinary congress is held to elect his successor.

When views of Mike Umeh, whose tenure as chairman of ASFA over the last 16 years was equated to Blatter’s 18 year-tenure, he declined to comment.

He told NAN: “I cannot comment on the matter’’.

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Umeh had sought tenure extension, but his vice, Obikwelu led a rebellion, seeking to stop his quest.

The two men then, formed two rival groups forcing the Nigeria Football Federation to stop the factions and instead set up Normalisation Committee to midwife an election within three months. (NAN)
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