Sole financier of Nigeria Women Football League sides Ratels Sports Development Foundation (RSDF) Barr. Paul Edeh has officially indicated interest to jottle for the Chairman of the Benue State Football Association in the coming elections
Barr. Edeh has however pic his nomination form and also informed major stakeholders, who are mostly the chairmen and secretaries of various Local Government Football councils (LGAs) of his intentions to contests.
He however noted that his desire is to lead Benue FA to further drive grassroots football development.
The RSDF boss who has been sponsoring the state FA football league in the past years while reeling out his many football developmental antecedents in parts of the country, said, “I’m not in the race to exploit the system but to make endearing impact. Our incumbent chairperson has been very visionary about football development and it’s my desire to advance her impactful steps in next dispensation.
“I have come to serve and not to be served. I have come to collaborate with stakeholders to move football forward. My regular thoughts and how a progressive model should be is that football development run from bottom to top.
“Benue from ages has budding talents in various communities and it’s our duty to fish them out. We will work with referees and coaches as well as others by organising refresher trainings, just as we encourage many to attend courses that will help them improve themselves in their chosen vocation and profession.
“Football all over the world has become big business. The federal government having this understanding recently came up with the 10-year football master plan and it’s our responsibility to find creative ways to uplift football in Benue state.
“Most of you may not be aware that the current drive of the Nigeria Football Federation is anchored towards grassroots football development. This means that all the attention is focused on you being administrators at the local councils, as the core anchor of football development.”
Some of the Local councils chairmen and secretaries expressed satisfaction with the vision and capacity of Barr. Edeh and they futher assured him of their readiness to give him full support.
Specifically, the chairman of Oju LGA Mr. Raphael Adoga popularly known as father said, “In Barr. Edeh, we as chairmen from the 23 local governments have found one who is capable of taking Benue football to greater heights.”
Also speaking, another chairman from Otukpo LGA Mr. Agbo James and that of Vandekiya Mr. Marcel Akaasar who were excited said with Barr. Edeh, a club owner of high repute, Benue football is comfortably in safe hands.
The meeting of the stakeholders was preceded with a formal inauguration of elected chairmen of the entire local government football councils in Makurdi, Benue state capital.
At the inauguration, incumbent Chairperson of Benue State FA, Rt. Hon. Mrs Margaret Icheen, told the new chairmen and their board to forge developmental ways of uplifting football in their domain.
While wondering why few individuals recently signed a petition to court with claims that the former local football council boards were given four years in office, Mrs. Icheen warned against taking football issues to conventional courts.
Instead, she admonished any aggrieved persons at anytime to always explore internal dispute resolution mechanisms, adding, “No one is meant to take football matters to conventional courts. Doing so could attract sanctions to you.”
On why she is stepping down, the FA Chairperson said, “I’m stepping aside to give another person chance to develop football in the state. I don’t believe in staying in a position forever.”
Declaring the event open, Benue State Director of Sports Comrade Philip Ter Nongu hailed Barr. Edeh for always partnering and sponsoring sporting activities in the state.
He lamented non-execution of governor’s cup in the past seven years and expressed hope that the incoming government will revive the competition which serves as veritable platform for discovering of budding talents from parts of the state.
Certificates were later handed over to the elected chairmen from all 23 LGAs in the state after they took oath of offices.