ARGENTINA TIE: DARK CLOUDS HOVER ON NIGERIA
This, however was never the case in the past elections but then it was so stated in the electoral statutes. A group went to court over this.
But on resumption, the Maigari board moved to change the minds of those who had reservations against them except those eying offices on board.
They hired Samson Siasia, the choice of the people, as Eagles coach. They initiated good programmes for teams preparing for international competitions and made sure welfare of players and coaches was their priority. Now, when Nigerian teams lose a match nobody blames the federation and their members but the coaches. This could mark the beginning of what happens in Europe and other football countries.
But this momentum they are gathering may begin to wane come September if they listen to a wrong advice to call off the September 7 international friendly with Argentina after signing the contract to play the South Americans in Bangladesh, a match being put together to promote football in that country by sponsors who have offered up to $1m dollars.
Nigeria beat same Argentina 4-1 in Abuja in June and many gave kudos to the Maigari board for attracting such a high class match. But Argentina did not parade all their stars and deservedly got good bashing in Abuja.
A source close to the FA called us yesterday to say the following:
'This Maigari NFF has been doing well. They have surprised many people, even those who didn't believe in them. But some people are now telling them the wrong things and it appears that they are listening. After signing a contract to play Argentina again in Bangladesh, it appears that they want to pull out of the match.
It means that a complaint can be raised to FIFA against Nigeria and Nigeria could be made to pay a fine on the basis of contractual default. It means that agents and Football Associations will view Nigeria as a country that does not respect contract and they may stay away from doing business with Nigeria. This was the image Nigeria had before and this is where they may return should they cancel the contract to play Argentina, this time with all their stars.
'It means that when agents want to ask for big matches with African countries they will continue to go for Ghana and the likes of Cameroun. Big matches like the one in Bangladesh means good branding exposure for the kitting sponsors of the Nigerian team and such cancellation will not be in their interest and that of Nigerian football.'
We gathered that the need to savour, for long, the 4-1 Abuja victory was one of the reasons making NFF reluctant over the contract that they have signed already.
One of the technical staff said yesterday that coach Samson Siasia had told him that 'win or lose, we will have something to learn from the match and it is in our interest to honour the match as part of our building process.'
Efforts to reach Aminu Maigairi and Christopher Green, the head of technical department failed as they were in a long meeting in Abuja. 'I'll call you back, we are in a meeting, I'll call you back,' repeated Maigari.
The September 7 date comes four days after the Nations Cup qualifier against Madagascar. It is on a FIFA free date.