Nigeria football, particularly staff of the Nigeria Football Federation experienced some level of breath of fresh air with the arrival on July 2nd, 2018 of Ambassador Chris Giwa as the NFF president.
Contrary to what they may have presented to the public, the last four years had been hell for most football stakeholders, especially for staff of the football house .
Despite claims of securing several high profile sponsorships, the Amaju Pinnick led board had stopped the payment of match bonuses and allowances to the assistant coaches and players of the national teams, with exception of the Super Eagles and the Super Falcons.
The Amaju led board also stopped the appointments of media officers to the age grade national teams. Their inability to move to the Sunday Dankaro house located at the package B of the Abuja National stadium, even with the hundreds of millions of naira they claimed to have sunk into it for renovation call for concern. The building is still uninhabitable, without a single furniture in it.
Just about three weeks into office, Chris Giwa led board has moved to place the Nation’s football in the right direction. Bringing his experience as a club owner and an administrator of repute to bear, he has commenced redressing most of the challenges the Nation’s football had faced.
Bellow are some of the giant strides the Ambassador Chris Giwa’s board has recorded just few weeks in office:
1) Payment of Salary and Allowances to National teams officials and Players. You may want to know that while match bonuses for officials and assistant coaches of teams were stopped by the Amaju Pinnick led board, those of the board members attached to the teams were not tampered with.
2) Reinstatement of National teams Media Officers with the appointment of a media officer for the U-17 and the U-20 National male teams, and the Super Falcons.
In 2017 Amaju Pinnick led board stopped the appointment of the media officers to all the national teams. The wrong step that made Nigerians know nothing or little about their national teams. Giwa who knows the importance of the media, and also believes sports, especially football, is a media event, quickly attached media officers to some of the national teams for the general public to be abreast of developments in their darling national teams.
3) Giwa’s morale booster of N500,000/per goal was the key reason why Flying Eagles mauled their Mauritania counterparts 6-1 on aggregate. The first time in a long while a Nigeria team had beaten a team with such margin. Recall that the Flying Eagles failed to qualify for the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations under Amaju Pinnick, the first in a long while.
4) Sunday Dankaro House.
In less than two weeks, Chris Giwa announced that NFF will move from the Glasshouse to the newly built and better secretariat.
The place which had been overgrown by bush was already cleared and preparation in top gear before the unfortunate and unnecessary display of impunity by the DSS that stalled the movement last week.
5) He personally bought jerseys for the Flying Eagles to honour their U-20 AFCON qualifiers match against Mauritania, despite the much hyped Nike deal.
6) Payment of N300,000 to the players, N400,000 to officials and N600,000 to head coach of Flying Eagles as well as payment of N10,000 for each day spent in camp.What better way can a leader motivate his team than this especially in our clime where we know the level of poverty and hunger ravaging the land. No age group team can remember when last they received such gesture.
7) Payment of 400 dollars to the coaches and officials of the Falconets and 300 dollars to each player as pocket monies to their pre-world cup camping in Austria. As his personal contribution to the team’s upkeep in Austria, he gave them 5000 dollars, after showering them with fatherly prayers to go and succeed.