FIFA inspectors led by Jark Warner will today announce the venues for the Nigeria 2009 U-17 World Cup
The Guardian learnt yesterday that from Lagos to Ijebu-Ode, Calabar to Enugu, Abuja to Kaduna, Kano to Bauchi and Warri, government officials and sports administrators are having sleepless night about the possibility of their choice centers scaling the big hurdle.
In Delta State, government officials and fans are hoping and praying that FIFA will look in the direction of Warri after the inspection team aborted a trip to the state due to the fight between government troops and militants in the creek.
The Chief Executive Officer of Cable Soccer Academy in Oghara, Delta State, coach Edwin Onovwotafe, told The Guardian on phone that he was very optimistic that Warri sub-seat would scale through. He said: “I am sure that by now, FIFA might have known that the issue of insecurity raised was just the handiwork of some competitors who want Warri knocked off the race at all cost.
“There are kidnappers all over the country and it will be unfair to use only Warri as scapegoat in this case.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL), Oyuiki Jackson Obaseki, said yesterday that it was a travesty of organisational justice that nobody from the body was included in either the main World Cup LOC or its committees spread across the federation. Obaseki said it was ironic that while the organising committee for the South Africa 2010 World Cup is headed by the league chief in that country, the leadership of sports, and indeed football, in Nigeria finds nothing good in the NPL.
“There is no disagreement between the NPL and the NFF. As I would always say, they are the fathers and we are the children,” he said. “But no child in the modern world will watch a father met out injustice to him or her as the NFF are always tempted to do to us at the NPL all the time.”
Obaseki called on the Minister of Sports/Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Sanni Ndanusa, and the Director General, Patrick Ekeji, to correct the anomaly. According to him, given the chance, the NPL leadership and key staff would bring their organisational skill to bear. The Nigeria Football Federation second vice president added: “It can still be corrected but as always, we are not begging them for what ordinarily should be our right.
“But can you imagine that our own executive secretary, who was seconded here by the NSC, is not even found worthy to be in the LOC? I am always surprise when things like this happen.”