Ex-footballers kick against exclusion from NFF COVID-19 task force

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Ex-footballers have queried the decision of the Nigeria Football Federation to exclude them from the task force set up to monitor compliance of football clubs with COVID-19 protocols.

Some of the ex-footballers, who spoke to our correspondent on Monday, said they would have played a major role if included in the committee.

“We are happy that the system is trying to make COVID-19 compliance a reality in our football games to save lives. So, if our football must continue and people are neglecting these things, then it is good that a committee is set up,” former Super Eagles midfielder, Edema Fuludu, said

“But the committee that is set up should also take note that it’s health and football. So, they should have also ensured that they had the players’ union representatives in that committee, because it is when the players know that their representatives are in that committee that it will make football develop better. So, you cannot exclude the players’ union representative from that kind of committee.”

Former Enyimba and Dolphins striker, Victor Ezeji, added, “They have about four or five doctors (in the task force), which is not bad, but it mustn’t be doctors alone. I think if the NFF wanted ex-footballers in the task force, they would have done so, it won’t cost them anything. It might be an oversight on their part. But it would have been better to also have an ex-footballer who has knowledge of the game in that committee.”

Ex-Falcons star, Stella Mbachu, added, “This would have been another way of using us (ex-footballer) to share our experience, but in their own wisdom, they have decided not to. It’s not too late, so, I will encourage them to do the needful.”

The 15-man task force has Chairman of the NFF Security Committee and Member of the Organising Committee for the African Nations Championship, Ibrahim Gusau as chairman, while Mohammed Ameenu serves as secretary.

Other members of the task force include Rivers FA chairman Chris Green; Chief Operating Officer of the League Management Company, Salihu Abubakar; Dr Kweku Tandoh, Dr Rotimi Ogungbe, Dr Nekwu Okolugbo, Dr Babatunde Akinbinu and Mohammed Mala Zanna.

The task force also has Bello Sokoto, Hassan Garo, Sunday Longbap, E. C. Chukwuemeka, Mrs Catherine Opara and Ms Modupe Shabi as members.

The members expected to submit a report to the NFF Football Committee and the NFF Medical Committee through the Office of the NFF General Secretary every two weeks.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that NPFL side Dakkada didn’t conduct COVID-19 tests on their players and backroom staff before their December 28, 2020 NPFL match against Akwa United, thus flouting the COVID-19 Protocols.

The PUNCH also reported that Enyimba and MFM FC allowed fans into the Enyimba Stadium, Aba and Agege Stadium, Lagos for their match-day three games against Wikki Tourists and Sunshine Stars respectively, on January 10.Punch

 

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