NFF’s Autonomy Imminent as Senate Passes Bill Abrogating NFA

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Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The law that changed the name of Nigeria Football Association (NFA) to Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) was one of the 11 bills passed yesterday by the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani was the one who moved for the consideration of the bill changing NFA to NFF in the Senate.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate had way back in 2017 and 2018 passed different versions of the bill before a committee was set up to harmonise them into one and send it for final approval of the Red Chamber.

“This is one of those important issues as far as football is concerned in the country. It brings the Nigerian football administration in line with global best practice,” Senator Sani began.

“Following the consideration and passage of the bill for an act to repeal the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) and enact the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and other matters connected therewith 2019 by the Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday, 30th of May 2017 and Thursday, 8th of March 2018 respectively, the two chambers set up a conference committee.

“The conference committee met to harmonise the differences as passed by the two chambers. After scrutiny of the bill, the conference committee adopted the house version,” stressed the Kaduna senator.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki thereafter put the report to vote and approved

Saraki described the approval of the report as landmark.

“It is a landmark bill that we have just passed,” he said.

“For over 20 years now, we have been trying to improve on the situation of football in this country in line with global best practice but it has always been stampeded for personal reasons.”

The approved bill can be summarized into five major components which encompasses a whole new profitable and dynamic structure:

– It recognises the NFF as the body to manage and regulate football activities in Nigeria in line with its statutes as approved by FIFA.

– It recognises the NFF statutes as drafted by its members and approved by FIFA as the Supreme Laws for the governance of the functioning of the organisation, administration and operations of the NFF.

– It recognises that the statutes of the NFF may be amended from time to time in accordance with the procedures and process stipulated in the statutes.

– It recognises football as a national asset and thus entitled to special privileges, concession and from time to time to receive grants, subventions and/or appropriation from the government in furtherance to its objectives and functions and to facilitate the overall development of football in Nigeria.

– It will provide the framework of the minimum provisions the statutes shall contain to ensure good governance, management, and operations of the NFF and in line to the minimum threshold provided by FIFA to be contained in all the Federations’ statutes and other provisions to support football development.

These are the focal points of the Act with the itemized point emphasizing that the NFF will not be hindered from receiving grants or subvention from the government despite their autonomy.