Former international, Emeka Ezeugo, has urged the Federal Government to allow the Nigeria Football Federation run as an independent body sourcing its own funds for its programmes.
The NFF relies on allocation from the Federal Government to take care of the national teams.
Ezeugo, who spoke with our correspondent, also said a lack of legislation is killing football in the country.
“The NFF will continue to fail in its duty of paying national team players until the right things are done. The Federal Government should take its hands off the funding of football in Nigeria,” he said.
“When government funds sports, accountability becomes a difficult thing. It will take a lot of probing to expose how the government funds are spent.
“If the NFF is independent and sponsored by the private sector, owing players will be a thing of the past. Players, who are the main actors in the sport, will not be owed their rightful allowances.”
He added, “The private sector wants to know how their money is spent before investing. When they give out money and are not convinced about how it is spent, they withdraw and the result is what we are currently seeing.
“Nigeria needs a legislation that will make the NFF independent, and also make state governments stay away from the running of football clubs. With the Exception of IfeanyiUbah and a few other privately run clubs, the teams in the Premier League are guilty of owing players because they rely on government subventions, which come late. Sometimes the money is shared before it gets to the players.”
The well-travelled former Eagles defender said the country should encourage private ownership of football clubs as it would encourage accountability.
He said, “The bedrock of football administration in the country are the clubs. The representatives of these clubs go into the state football associations and then into the NFF. When state governments own football clubs, the money allocated to them are not properly accounted for.
“These actions continue to the FAs and then the federation. But when we more private ownership of clubs, the players will be paid and the necessary legislations needed for the growth of the game would be pushed for. Accountability will also be achieved through this.”
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