Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Idah Peterside has revealed the reasons he is vying for the position of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president.
The tenure of the current NFF president Amaju Pinnick will expire in the next few months, with the next federation election slated to hold September.
A number of ex-internationals, including Benedict Akwuegbu, have declared interest to contest for the office.
Peterside, a football pundit and pastor who is based in South Africa, said he cried after the Super Eagles drew against the Black Stars of Ghana in the second leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Moshood Abiola national stadium in Abuja about two months ago.
He said Nigeria losing the World Cup ticket to Ghana motivated his decision to contest in the forthcoming election.
The 47-year-old further revealed that he decided to go into football administration so he can be in a position to hire and fire.
“Yes, the time has come, this is our game. We’ve kept quiet for this long and just watching all that has been happening. I told myself I won’t go into coaching because those who call the shots can decide to fire you just because they do not like you. I want to be in a position where I would be able to sack people too,” he said on Wednesday on Brila FM programme ‘No Holds Barred’.
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“On a more serious note, the time has for us to change Nigerian football; time has come for us to do something different. I came to Abuja to watch Nigeria vs Ghana and after the game at the stadium, I almost had a heart attack. I got back to my room and cried and cried and asked ‘what is this?’ ‘What has happened to our football’?
“I’m a man of God and I heard a voice in my spirit saying if you don’t do something, who will do it? So that word has not given me rest.”
He, however, lamented that what could be the stumbling block to his ambition is the way the NFF Statutes was drawn, and not the part that said interested candidates must be FA chairmen; part of the statutes some former players are said to be seeking a redress over in court.
“The problem is in the NFF statutes, we have four blocks; we have ex-players, we have referees, we have coaches, we have club chairmen; those are the four blocks. What the players who have gone to court are saying is that, every block, including players union, has one vote, but club chairmen have 37 votes.
“So the thing is, if anyone who is a club chairman wants to contest, he would certainly be NFF president. So what we are saying is, for the club chairmen, why can’t we reduce their vote, like if we have 50 persons who will vote in total. In that 50, club chairmen will have 10, referees 10, players union 10, so that everybody will have equal vote, which is right.
“The major problem is if you call for a meeting to change that law, nobody will be able to change it except the general council,” Peterside stated.
On the part of the NFF constitution which stipulates that candidates interested in occupying the office of the president must be state FA chairman, the former Moroka Swallows FC goalie argued that it is not part of the conditions to contest for the election.
“No, no. It is not so, I have seen the conditions. If not I wouldn’t have indicated interest. There are about seven conditions for you to be able to run. Number one, you need to be a Nigerian, you need to be affiliated with a local team in your region, you need to be active with a local team, you don’t have to be a club chairman; whether amateur, professional league.
“I’m involved with a local team and I am one of the directors of that team. I’ll change the constitution when I get there. I’m an ex-international; the referee in the statute is there because of the players, club chairmen are there because of players, FA chairman are there because of players, so why would ex-footballers not be allowed to be president,” he queried.
By Femi Ashaolu
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