For the umpteenth time, reasons given for the continued lockdown on football remain unjustifiable, especially when the curve of the virus continue to flattening in numbers.
The football industry were thrown into yet another displeasing moment recently when the Presidential Task force on Covid-19 said, football is not yet allowed to resume.
Football activities among other sports was affected in the country since the pandemic broke out in March this year.
Part of the things that crossed many minds is the fact that sports had resumed in countries that were greatly affected by the virus, wondering why Nigeria is an exemption.
It is however disheartening to see the football governing body in the country not promoting the resumption of football in a creative, convincing and decisive manner to the Government of the land.
One would have expected the leadership of NFF to ignites the narratives for football resumption, in a manner which the English FA did. Bearing in mind that the virus is real and there is way the game can hold without aggravating the situation.
The NFF should be able to convince the government of this country that, if campaigns and elections could hold with that obvious and visible violation of Covid-19 protocols, football matches or leagues can also resume even without spectators.
Few weeks ago, the President of the country did a wedding ceremony for his daughter in a contempt manner to the present Covid-19 protocols which only allow 50 persons in a gathering. It is a clear disrespect to the current situation.
It is dampening to see NFF not living up to expectations of building a vibrant football industry which can only happen through a vibrant leadership.
NFF seems to be placating the PTF on Covid-19 without making any pronounced efforts which could help the committee perhaps consider football as a major source of income for many people which deserve to be given priority.
Nigeria bureaucracy class naturally doesn’t like to differ in voice or offend themselves. I don’t think it would be a disservice to the nation if NFF should advocate for football activities to come back. It is rather a matter of presenting substantial reasons which would be of great help and benefit to the nation in the long run.
Most importantly, the need for football to resume in the face of the fast dwindling infection rate of coronavirus in the country should have even serve as a tonic for NFF to kick up the salvo arround the subject matter
The loud silence of NFF on football resumption matter shows the ineptness of its leadership and their toothlessness in protecting its assets against scavengers.
Assets here being thousands of people who earns and make living out of football activities, players, coaches, chauffers, jersey manufacturers, Referees, to mention but a few.
Instead of asking waiver for National teams to hold trainings ahead of their qualifiers matches, NFF should have devised practical ways to meet up with the realities of Covid-19 and present it through the Ministry of Youth and Sports to Presidential Task Force on coronavirus like England FA did.
The longer it takes for football to resume, the bad it is for our economy.
The servility of the NFF on the issue has further enliven the impression around football as a recreational activity and not a business or area of economic development.
This silence is long overdue and it is important that the NFF rise to the occasion of protecting the game by advocating for its modest resumption.