The news is everywhere that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has owned up the mistake made in an earlier statement that Ahmed Musa has bagged 100 caps for the Super Eagles.
Rescinding their initial count, they admitted that FIFA’s record was more authentic than theirs. This was made known in a statement made available to newsmen and entitled, ‘NFF Defers to FIFA on Ahmed Musa’s Record.’
The NFF had initially maintained that the Super Eagles captain has 100 caps accredited to him after the 2022 World Cup Qualifier against Cape Verde yesterday, but the apex global football body, FIFA, countered the statement saying Musa has two more games to join the centurion club having played 98 games for the Eagles.
In a new statement on Wednesday, the NFF accepted FIFA’s submission on account that two of the matches accredited to Musa were nullified.
According to the statement made available to the above source by Ademola Olajire, the NFF’s Director of Communications, “We defer to FIFA in this regard, so Ahmed Musa has 98 caps. If he features, as expected, in the home-and-away matches against Central African Republic in October, he will clock the tally of 100 and the celebrations will follow in full flow.”
Giving more details on the above, Punch Newspaper said, “…Musa’s appearances in the 3-0 defeat of Togo in a friendly match in Paris in June 2017 and the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 qualifier against Algeria in Constantine in November 2017 did not count.
“The match against Togo was struck off as both Nigeria and Togo made more than the regular number of changes in the game, while the encounter in Constantine, which ended 1-1, was deleted because Nigeria fielded an ineligible player and the result was overturned, with Algeria awarded the game, even as Nigeria had already picked the World Cup ticket before the tie.”
These kinds of national embarrassments raise the questions of record keeping and tracking in the different levels of administration and governance in this country.
How can the NFF not take down the said two appearances? Who is in charge of updating records and what has been done to him/her since this error was identified? Despite the mischief of making more than required changes in one match and fielding an ineligible player in an official match, the NFF could not save us the embarrassment of a reminiscence.
It is very obvious that the records of all other players who played those matches were not updated post-nullification. And we are not sure that these anomalies would be corrected after this national irresponsibility. That of Ahmed may be corrected while the others would be left unattended to.
Does it mean that we do not conduct intermittent record or data audits in Nigeria? Who and who are in charge of these ministries and departments? How credible are the records they read out constantly to the applause of praise-singers if they do not cross-check them? Does it mean that the leaderships of these MDAs are not even aware there were nullifications? Were there no follow-up meetings after the nullifications to review what must have caused such incidents?
These and many more are issues begging to be addressed. The leadership of these MDAs should be ashamed of themselves because it all means they do absolutely little if they could not hold their subordinates accountable. These were matches they must have attended and taken estacodes but the proper things were not done.
The NFF has a technical department that should be overseeing these things. But they do not crosscheck these details. This is why we have a division of labour. But in this clime, these departments leave their primary responsibilities and focus on the job of the Head Coach because they want to select players for the coach. It is a shame for the NFF, it is a shame to the Sports Ministry, it is a shame to Nigeria.
Bottom line, if only they will learn…
Azuka Edokobi is a Writer , a Farmer, a Supply Chain Expert and an Entrepreneur