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INTERVIEW – Gusau: ‘NFF Will Get Nigerians’ Advice About Peseiro’s Job; How We’ll Make Nigerian Football, Domestic Leagues Great’

INTERVIEW – Gusau: ‘NFF Will Get Nigerians’ Advice About Peseiro’s Job; How We’ll Make Nigerian Football, Domestic Leagues Great’

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, had a world-exclusive interview organised by Gbamm! Loving Football, which took place on Thursday, 22 June, and aired on Radio Now 95.3FM.

In the interview, the NFF president fielded questions wide range of questions, including those Gbamm! collated from the media and fans, concerning the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro‘s contract situation, NFF’s finances, and the Nigerian League, among others.

Completesports.com‘s ADEBOYE AMOSU and JAMES AGBEREBI who monitored the session, present the transcript of the interview session.

Excerpts…

ibrahim-musa-gusau-nff-nigeria-football-federation-president-super-eagles-jose-peseiro-nigerian-football-nigerian-league-nigeria-premier-league-npl

Gusau fields questions from the hosts of Gbamm! Loving Football Zoom session

Also Read – Exclusive: Why Peseiro May Not Escape NFF Sack –Shorunmu

What are the things you put in place on assuming office as the NFF president?

Gusau: Immediately after our election, we made an attempt to amend the statutes to go with the reality. We have been working to make sure we have something in place that will be acceptable to all stakeholders in Nigeria.

We have heard of difficulties with financial issues the NFF is facing. What are you doing to unlock that aspect, especially with a big brand like the Super Eagles?

That has been a challenge. The Federal Government is really doing its best. There is no organisation you go to now that doesn’t have debts to settle.

In our case, we came on board and met a lot of debts on the ground. A few years ago, an oil company, AITEO, signed an agreement with the NFF, but unfortunately, they couldn’t fulfill the obligation because of some issues.

We tried all we could do, but basically, the non-compliance of that organisation to an agreement with the NFF affected our finances seriously.

A lot of things could have been sorted out if they had honoured that agreement. It affected the payment of coaches because they had agreed that they will be paying our coaches.

You also go into the area of the Federation Cup. It affected the competition too. We came on board, we see all these challenges. We wrote a letter to them through our lawyers and we are hoping they will fulfill their contractual obligations. By the grace of God, if we are able to get money from them, we will settle some of the debts we are owing in the NFF.

You know we can only attract investors if we are doing the right things and our national teams are doing well.

Also Read: Joshua vs Wilder Close To Being Finalised —Promoter, Hearn

We are trying our best. This season, we started with the league.  Thank God there is little improvement. Everyone can attest to the fact that there were improvements in the just concluded season.

Concerning the national teams, we are beginning to change the narratives. We are doing our best to give our teams what they need to perform. We try to attract investors and make the atmosphere conducive for them to make them contribute because it is only through that, that we can succeed.

There were a lot of court cases in the past, but we are now trying to make things easy and comfortable for private investors to come on board.

Would you want the NFF to be financed by the private sector or the government?

I sincerely want the NFF to be financed by the private sector. I prefer this because I don’t like going to the government for money all the time when money is not even there.

It is important we attract the private sector to bring in the money that we need. As I said earlier, I prefer to get my money from the private sector than the government.

What are your immediate plans to restore the confidence of Nigerians in the NFF and Super Eagles?

The immediate plan is not to only get the confidence of Nigerians but also the private investors. The Super Eagles are our biggest brand and if they are doing well, we know a lot of corporate sponsors will come in to support us.

As I said earlier, we will try to do our best to give them an enabling environment to do well. I do my best to interact with the players, sit down with them and know what the challenges are. There are so many things we will share with Nigerians to make sure we get things right.

Super Eagles are the biggest brand we have in the NFF.  Once we get it right with the Super Eagles, we are good to go. We are doing our best to support the players and the technical crew.

super-eagles-nff-nigeria-footnall-federation

What are your plans to develop the Nigerian League?

I’m not sure, maybe you didn’t follow the league well last season. We did well to reform the league. We had a team that didn’t lose all through the regular season for the first time in the history of the Nigeria Premier League. That is Bendel Insurance.  If we can get that, we can say we have done well. We will do our best to maintain the momentum.

Also Read – Ighalo: I’m Still Available To Play For Super Eagles

Throughout the season, we didn’t have TV coverage except for the Super Six, but we are working hard to put that in place for next season. From next season, we will try to have like two or three matches on TV per week. Before now, no one can say when the league will start and when it will end, but that is a thing of the past now.

Now with all these reforms more home-based players will get opportunity in the Super Eagles.

What is the NFF doing to support private sector participants trying to grow and develop football, like organising the Higher Institutions Football League?

What we are trying to do is to make the atmosphere very conducive so that whoever is coming must be sure that, at least, will get value for his investment. For example, before now people don’t bother to go to the stadium to watch our matches because no team will go and lose in their own home. And the thinking was ‘why should I go and watch, for example, Plateau United, playing at home and they must win? Now we try to bring confidence into the minds of the people – that you will go and watch real football.

Anybody that is coming to invest in football must be sure that the home atmosphere will be conducive for him to have good competition for him to get the best out of his team or opponent. That is the only way you can support them and make them attracted to the environment.

But if an investor is spending his money in football and then you travel for a match and has a good team, then all of a sudden his team will be rubbished at all cost – they must beat his team. There’s no way you can continue to invest. So what we are trying to do is to make sure we make the environment very conducive and ensure that, at least,  we do the right things and have the best competition in the league and football environment.

There’s a rumour that your administration is planning to conduct an opinion poll in order to ask football fans whether Jose Peseiro should stay as Super Eagles coach, is it true? And what are your thoughts on backing an indigenous coach?

Well, actually we have that plan to put it in front of Nigerians, to hear their views because we try the foreign and local coaches and it seems we are having some kind of problem. Maybe we did not get it right – with the right person. We are surely going to push it to the public to hear their views on whether we should continue with Peseiro or he should go.

On the question of whether we will go with an indigenous coach, we are still going to push that to Nigerians in the poll – to tell us whether going for a local coach would be best for Nigeria at the most or go for another foreign coach. We will get their views then look at it and do what we are supposed to do as a board and come out with a decision.

Why is it that organising a press conference never seems to happen with the Super Eagles coaches?

A lot of journalists had the opportunity to sit down with the coach and ask him a lot of questions and he responded to them. If you go through the media officer of the team, you can get all the necessary interviews even with the players. But the thing is that anytime the Super Eagles team is coming for a match,  they come for a maximum of one week. And in each of the matches they are going to play, there’s going to be a press conference and also a pre-match press conference. So through those press conferences,  it is enough for every journalist to be part of and ask whatever question they want to ask the coach.

Also Read: I’m Ready To Play In Nigeria Premier League If — Ighalo

But as I said earlier, there are press conferences that hold before every match and post-match. So I think those are enough. I don’t think there should be special press conferences when there’s an official one. Every journalist knows there’s going to be a press conference before and after every match.

So maybe there are no organised press conferences by the coach. Maybe we are now going for a tournament whereby the team has the opportunity to come in two, three weeks, or one month definitely we must organise a press conference for the coach to ensure that he tells the world and Nigerians his plans.

Nigeria has a rich history of producing exceptional talents. Every two years these young talents need to reach the World Cup either at U-17 or  U-20 levels to make their way professionally, but those who don’t make it are mostly forgotten. In what specific ways will your administration address this?

What we are doing is rallying around all the domestic leagues. And if our league is doing well and more money is coming into the league it will attract a lot of these young players to stay and play in Nigeria.  Sometimes, some of them that even travel outside the country to seek greener pastures are just being deceived by agents, and after one year you will not hear their names again. It’s not only when they are in Nigeria that you don’t get to hear their names again, it’s because they didn’t take the right decisions and before you know it they are forgotten.

But now that we are trying to restructure the league and if in the next one/two years, it gets to the level we are expected to get to and more money comes into the league a lot of players wouldn’t think of going outside to go and play professional football.  You see a player travel to remote countries and earn $1,000. I think it’s better for me,  as a footballer, to stay back in Nigeria and receive N300,000.

enyimba-bendel-insurance-adekunle-adeleke-adodo Stephens-2023-npl-super-six-mobolaji-johnson-arena

Enyimba’s Adekunle Adeleke (23) vs Bendel Insurance’s Adodo Stephens during the 2023 NPL Super Six

But most of these clubs, especially in the lower leagues, don’t have the money to take care of these players. So that’s why we feel if we make things work right and more money come into the league,  a lot of these players will not be wasted, you will see them being attracted into the league and you will see the best out of them.

Why is it so difficult for Nigerian coaches to announce their squad publicly to enable them to explain the reasons behind their selections and why some players are left out?

For example, if we are camping the junior teams like the U-17 and U-20, when you go to their camps, in every training, you will find more than 30 journalists standing there and they want to be asking questions. And even when the coach releases the list today,  they will still ask him that same question. So the coach would feel reluctant to answer questions that have been asked before. So that’s why the coaches feel it is not important for them anymore to organise a press conference to unveil their lists and try to defend them.

How challenging do you find running the NFF?

Not managing the NFF alone, even trying to manage a football club even in the lower leagues, then you will know how challenging it is. Nigeria is a big country and a footballing nation, every single family has a footballer in the house – people who are interested in what is happening in the NFF.

So it has to be very challenging because even to respond to people’s advice, suggestions  – they are so enormous. Before I thought of going for the NFF job,  I knew what I’m going to face.

As I said, I started managing football from an early stage, managing at the state level before getting to the national level. At the national level, I was on the board for almost eight years before God said this is the time to manage Nigerian football.

I know it’s going to be very challenging, but we are doing our best to ensure that we meet the expectations of Nigerians, but it is really not easy.

What is your position on tapping the best available eligible diaspora talents?

It’s something that we must do because every Nigerian, wherever he is, we need to give him an opportunity to represent his country. We are doing our best to ensure that at least we have a robust scouting network to get an accurate record of our Nigerian players wherever they are in the world. And it is only with that we can get the best out of the young Nigerian footballers.

What would you say would be a successful tenure for you as NFF president?

Number one; I can look back and say we really achieved something in the domestic league, especially the professional football league, and number two; I can look back to say we tried our best to make sure that the football environment is a little bit united because everybody is given the opportunity to give his contribution which is lacking in some years back. Number three; I would say there were no crises concerning the national teams going to tournaments or at the tournaments.

 


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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 22
  • William the conqueror 11 months ago

    Please Nff give the coaching job to Finidi George, my two kobo. Thank you.

  • NFF fat cats should stop siphoning money meant to run football in Nigeria. Hire Nigerian coaches [ Mr. Ndubuisi Egbo, Mr. Finidi George, Mr. Sunday Oliseh, Mr. Vincent Enyeama].
    Have them sign a binding, mutual agreement that requires all invitations to camp and team selection be based on merit. And that any substantiated pay-to-play claim would be grounds for termination of contract.
    NFF on its part should give the coaches reasonable length of contract, must pay them well and pay them on time unfailingly. Give them all the support they would need. Do not sabotage them from the inside.
    The only two legitimately very good foreign coaches Nigeria have ever had were Father Tiko and Otto Gloria. And neither of them achieved what our own Stepen Keshi accomplished in a shorter time.
    Foreign coaches do not understand the DNA of Nigerians.
    Let us put our destiny in our own hands!

  • God Forbid we dont need Nigerian Coaches. You see Nigerians are Nigeria’s problem. Instead of you to use this platform to clamour for something solid here you are clamouring for destruction. Did you not see Herve Reynard to clamour for?. Someone who won AFCON with Zambia and Ivory coast?.

    Nff
    1. STOP INTERFERENCE IN COACHES LIST
    2.NFF DROP AHMED MUSA
    3.NFF INVITE GIFT ORBAN, TYRONNE EBUEHI, VICTOR BONIFACE AND ALL DESERVING PLAYERS ON FORM. STRENGTHEN THE MIDFIELD
    4. NFF ORGANISE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY MATCHES FOR SE.
    5.NFF STOP IMPOSING NPFL PLAYERS ON SUPER EAGLES, THERE CORRECT CHANNEL TO EXPOSURE IS CHAN
    6.NFF PUT MONEY INTO NPFL COMBINED WITH NPFL
    7. RECYCLING PLAYERS FROM NPFL YEAR IN YEAR OUT IN SE AND DUMPING THEM WHEN THEY MOVE TO MOLDOVA IS KILLING OUR BALL AND WILL NOT GROW THE LEAGUE INFACT IT IS DAMAGING THE LEAGUE, LET THEM GET EUROPEAN EXPOSURE FOR A FEW YEARS AND THE ONES THAT MAKE IT IN EUROPE GIVE THEM A SHOUT. THAT IS HOW THE LIKES OF ETEBO ANF YOUR BELOVED AHMED MUSA MADE TO EUROPE AND CAME TO PROMINENCE.
    INFACT MUSA’S WAY WAS THORUGH THE YOUTHS IF I AM TO BE HONEST.

    ALSO ENCOURAGE EX INTERNATIONALS TO GROW THIER CV’S IN THE TRENCHES BEFORE FEELING ENTITLED TO COME AND COACH SE

    NFF GOERGE FINIDI IS NOT READY TO BE SE COACH HE NEEDS A FEW MORE YEARS EXPERIENCE AS A COACH IN THE TRENCHES OF NPFL AND HOPEFULLY ABROAD LIKE OLISE.

    OLISE BIGGEST MISTAKE WAS ASSUMING COACH OF SE BEFORE HIS STINT OVERSEAS. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE OTHER WAY AROUND

    NFF LASTLY DO THE RIGHT THING. DO THE RIGHT THINGS FOR OUR BAL

  • Fools plenty in this country you want NFF to reappoint oliseh again? Must you show us that you’re very stupid person,let them appoint him nah,no wonder foreign born players r rejecting zoo country, tomorrow you will be the one saying that they’re recycling themselves rubbish country

    • Made a valid point, then he calls the country a zoo. Some of you are so dumb. If you are so mad….go and focus your energy on getting another nationality. Mtchhhwww

  • With this line by Gusau below, it is clear Paseiro will be the shortest-serving coach of the SE. He will be gone before July. The vote of no-confidence is overwhelming across all sections of fans.

    “On the question of whether we will go with an indigenous coach, we are still going to push that to Nigerians in the poll – to tell us whether going for a local coach would be best for Nigeria at the most or go for another foreign coach. We will get their views then look at it and do what we are supposed to do as a board and come out with a decision.”

    If NFF is going with the popular (majority) opinion, a local coach (or consortium of coaches) should be in the dugout in the next (and dead rubber) match against Sao Tome in September. Although I think the board is also trying to shirk responsibility or find a good alibi if anything goes south. But I’m confident it’ll work out pleasantly in the end.

    • Hassan Tia 11 months ago

      I think NFF must make huge overhaul for Nigerian football for the NPFL and national teams espcilay Super Eagles; fristly: NFF must inact a law or order that any NPFL club must be changed to a public sharing company so that it will depend on itself in funding not depend on government, any club must make a good evnronment for thier players to do well at the league and CAF tournments, the club must put public insurance, good bonuses, good housing for thier players; NPFL clubs must biuld big stadium with international specs , these clubs also must establish an academies in order to support thier clubs with talented players; NFF must compel these clubs to keep thoes good talented players until 20 years after that they can release them to European clubs; NFF must make NPFL age phases for 10 years, 14 years , 18 to 20; secondly with regard to SE NFF must hire South African vetern coach Pisto Mosimane or vetern France coach, why? because SE lack tactical organization which SE has been needing for many years, thoes tow coaches can fulfil this big task just a defensive mentality which has been lacking in SE team since 1994; NFF must compel a new coach to inact a code of conduct on recalled players to SE that any player must do his best for SE like at his club, recalled player must respect coach instructions, recalled player must play a combative and strong football so that he respect green an white jersy, any recalled player must defend well for green and white jersy, any recalled players must not do these codes of conducts he must not be recalled for SE for a long time after that NFF can look at him again then he can obligate to do well; NFF must contract with big company to sponsor SE so that they can lift governmental support on funding the team.If NFF do these stratgies they will success deservedly, we can see excellent NPFL, we can see good talents recalled to SE, we can see some of these club can win CAF championship or any tournament; we can formidable SE which can win Africa Cup of Nationts in short time.

  • This is absolute madness…..NFF making mockery of our football

    • NFF not wanting to be responsible for anything…This s disgraceful…..

  • Omo9ja 11 months ago

    I am very happy with the new NFF president.
    I noticed one thing about him, which is trying to connect open to us. He wanted to get connected with the fans of the Super Eagles. That is the way to go because are the fans of our darling Super Eagles.

    We know what our Super Eagles problem are and we are fully ready to support the Nigeria Football Federation if they are ready to do the right thing to make life easier for themselves, the players/coaches and we the Eagles fans. We are absolutely ready to work together for the betterment of our fatherland.

    That said. Something that the ex NFF has never done during his time. Now it is happening.

    Yes, absolutely. We are aware of the situation of the foreign coaches in the national teams. To name few, Super Eagles and Super Falcons.

    I appreciate what the two gaffers have been doing since they took over the job, but the bitter truth must be told, our national teams deserve more than what they are getting.

    It is high time NFF should call it quit with the foreign coach.

    It looks like NFF is wasting money on foreign coaches without any tangible result.

    Now that you wanted to seek advice from we, the core fans of the Super Eagles, I think you are in good direction Mr. President. That is how a leader should behave because nobody knows it all.

    In my opinion, I believe having an indigenous coach with the Super Eagles is the best decision to make and I am very excited today that we the majority fans of the Super Eagles are fully behind our local coaches to be the next Super Eagles coach.

    Except for the minority group here on this forum that against the local coaches idea.

    This minority group have been destroying our football for so long.

    Even, minority speaker and his people said our local coaches are below average but forgetting that our local coaches have won Olympic silver and Bronze medals while others have won Afcon trophy, made it out of the group stage at the world cup, under 17 world cup has been won not once but multiple times with our indigenous coaches.

    My only concern is that NFF have to make the move before September when Super Eagles will be playing their last match at home and they have to betransparent in everything they do if truly NFF want a rapid change before the next Afcon in Ivory Coast.

    I have stated the approach NFF should be taken when they hire the local coach and I am very elated that Tony said the same thing above there. @Tony, I agree with you on this.

    All in all, to God be the glory. Together we can make Nigeria and sports great again in our lovely country. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Ako Amadi 11 months ago

    It is a breach of contractual etiquette to discuss the coach’s conditions of service in public. This Gusau guy needs a course in business management

  • Omo9ja 11 months ago

    I am very happy with the new NFF president.
    I noticed one thing about Mr. President. He is trying to connect with us. He wanted to get connected with the fans of the Super Eagles. That is the way to go because we are the fans of our darling Super Eagles.

    We know what our Super Eagles problem are and we are fully ready to support the Nigeria Football Federation if they are ready to do the right thing to make life easier for themselves, the players/coaches and we the Eagles fans. We are absolutely ready to work together for the betterment of our fatherland.

    That said. Something that the ex NFF president has never done during his time. Now it is happening.

    Yes, absolutely. We are aware of the situation of the foreign coaches in the national team. To name few, Super Eagles and Super Falcons.

    I appreciate what the two gaffers have been doing since they took over the job, but the bitter truth must be told, our national teams deserve more than what they are getting.

    It is high time NFF should call it quit with the foreign coach.

    It looks like NFF is wasting money on foreign coaches without any tangible result.

    Now that you wanted to seek advice from we, the core fans of the Super Eagles, I think you are in good direction Mr. President. That is how a leader should behave because nobody knows it all.

    In my opinion, I believe having an indigenous coach with the Super Eagles is the best decision to make and I am very excited today that we the majority fans of the Super Eagles are fully behind our local coaches to be the next Super Eagles coach.

    Except for the minority group here on this forum that against the local coaches move.

    This minority group have been destroying our football for so long.

    Even, minority speaker and his people said our local coaches are below average but forgetting that our local coaches have won Olympic silver and Bronze medals while others have won Afcon trophy, made it out of the group stage at the world cup, under 17 world cup has been won not once but multiple times with our indigenous coaches.

    My only concern is that NFF have to make the move before September when Super Eagles will be playing their last match at home and they have to betransparent in everything they do if truly NFF want a rapid change before the next Afcon in Ivory Coast.

    I have stated the approach NFF should be taken when they hire the local coach and I am very elated that Tony said the same thing above there. @Tony, I agree with you on this.

    All in all, to God be the glory. Together we can make Nigeria and sports great again in our lovely country. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Akanlo Ede 11 months ago

    Super Eagles will do well soon. The coach has tried because he qualified Nigeria for the Afcon.

    • Solo Makinde, you’re right. Please greet Ignatius Abo and Arara Kumbie for me.

  • Abiodun 11 months ago

    We must not deceive ourselves the best coach for the super eagles now is foreign coach.The reason we have not got it right all these while is because all the foreign coaches Nigeria Hired in the last decades were low and quack coaches with low or poor portfolio. When herves Renard was available why Nigeria couldn’t go for him, when Claude Leroy was Knocking why Nigeria couldn’t go for him like wise Milosevic etc, so wrong appointment of foreign coaches has been the problem in my own opinion. If the NFA want to get it right , they should appoint a sound,credible, tactical,discipline and goal oriented Coach for the super eagles.Also in his contract NFA must muddling into his team selections all entitlement must be fulfilled as at when due. I promise you nigeria football will be catapulted to the next level
    However if Nigeria should want to try with local coaches, they should go for those that are coaching or have coached in Europe with good results and port folio. Thanks

  • Allow this man to fail in Afcon before sacking him,westerhof wasn’t an instant success.
    https://youtu.be/Cy5nfuMMdgA

  • I disagree with anyone who NFF new president is doing the right thing. First of all, you can’t build a bridge in a day or months, it’s takes years. Senegal are enjoying the fruits of their labor. When we used to have great super Eagles Senegal were struggling with their talent and national team. 

    New NFF President what you are about to do is the same mistake done by NFF in 2020 and you are trying to push the blame to the public cuz issues rises up, you will defend yourself by saying is not your decision. Everyone thinks they understand soccer/football while sitting on their couch saying this and that. My advice will be if you decide to go with the coach or whatever comes plays fives games must win at least four or five of them be qualified to coach SE and so it added into his contract and no one should impose players on any coach 

    Go back and Bring Rohr. Let’s be honest Rohr a great job when he came to super Eagles, qualifies us both WC and Afcon with A an excellent qualification. Everyone loves him but little goes south instead of letting him fight and fixed the situation NFF got in sack despite everything was pointing out to NFF. 

    Former players of SE stopping saying I don’t see tactical formats of play in SE. how many of you have won World Cup sitting were are as a coach or more multiple times. U guys are bad belly. Eguaveon should strengthen the tactics he in afcon by coaching the SE B team to be more active and confident before SE, he did really well that’s I suggest that. Havred former manager of Ivory Coast and Zambia should given a chance. 

  • Uncircumcise local coach and lazy formal players Pushing to sack our foreign coach what a shame , I regret to be a Nigeria,
    I here by call on osimeh and others to follow eze to change their identity to France , England etc it waste of time playing for Nigeria

  • Ako Amadi 11 months ago

    NFF is not able to market football and generate funds. Thats why theyre always broke. Nobody goes to watch football in a substandard stadium.On top of that the NFF is too corrupt.

  • Ako Amadi 11 months ago

    Will Gusau use INEC to select a national coach, based on public opinion? Many clowns in this NFF

  • Ako Amadi 11 months ago

    The few people writing letters to Complete Sports do not represent the millìons of soccer fans in Nigeria. The NFF is so bush, it believes the opposite

  • Ako Amadi 11 months ago

    Gusau is the dumbest NFF President of all time!

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