There’s a huge conspiracy in the NFF, and sooner than later it’ll cause an implosion within the organization. At the heart of that looming crisis is Age Cheating.
This is the year of Youth cadre competitions, the games are coming thick and fast, and invariably the desperation to win along with it.
For a football Federation where strategic planning and credibility are both lacking, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to cover up what seems to be a systemic connivance to cheat.
Truly, where there are no accurate data, accusations become allegations and the louder those calls become, without proof, the easier it is to dismiss.
However, Nigeria’s preparation for the recently concluded CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations has further exposed the cankerworm of age cheating in the Country’s Football and why there’s reasons to believe some FA officials are in the know or simply turn a blind eye.
From our investigations, FL gathered that some players that were dropped from the U20 team well over the age, but had been recommended to the Coaches.
Three Players, one of whom plays prominently for Enyimba were all identified in the racket, even players from Academies were also involved.
On Monday, March 14, an unpublished report in the NFF identified 16 players – all of whom were scouted by the U23 Eagles Coaches – failed the integrity test.
Multiple ages, falsification of birth records and the whole shenanigans exposed, and it ridicule head Coach Salisu Yusuf, whose ban for receiving cash incentive to field players back in 2018, and that dust has barely settled.
Dirty coaches, as they’ve been labelled over the years, charge fees from players seeking to play for the National teams, even at U17 level.
Former England Striker, John Fashanu chimed in on the recent age saga, and points to the lack of accountability among Coaches and Federation officials among factors that embolden the illegal act.
“If you had to wait until they come to camp before you suddenly realize that they have double passports, it means you are not doing your job, because before they even came, these things should be checked,” Fashanu told BRL.
“Man who’s twenty (20) suddenly becomes sixteen (16), because we Nigerians can look as if we’re eight (8) or nine (9) when really we’re thirty (30), we’re blessed, God has blessed us, but we’re turning this blessing into something we should not.”
What’s baffling though, is that as profound as some of these claims are and widely reported, the NFF has yet to issue a statement on any nor has it deemed it necessary to officially state its position on such unethical practices.
In his book, “My Story” published back in 2013, former England Manager, Sven-Göran Eriksson revealed that some top NFF officials had demanded kick back, should he get the Super Eagles Coaching Job back in 2010.
Till date, the NFF has not come out to defend its name nor hold Eriksson to account for his exposé, were it all a fabrication.
Coaches have been protected internally and externally, by mutual friends of Administrators, some in the media, whom over the years were befriended for this public image washing.
Easily, the lack of professionalism is rife within its ranks, there are NFF officials legally operating football academies and there couldn’t be a clearer situation of conflict of interests, when same officials influence the appointment of coaches.
It’s in the same vain Players are selected, even overaged and there aren’t any consequences for the offenders.
They’re allowed to return to the system, biding the time for another opportunity to exploit a frail and grossly compromised framework.
Monday’s revelations might not be embarrassing enough to reset all that’s wrong with football administration and its underlying causes, but it’s a ticking time bomb.
A calamity waiting to happen and the scale of it could drag the entire “Glasshouse” with it into the mud.
If you use the quotes from this content, you legally agree to give www.brila.net the News credit as the source and a backlink to our story. Copyright 2023 Brila Media.