Nigeria’s football leadership has a new president in charge. Ibrahim Gusau defeated nine other contestants to emerge as Amaju Pinnick’s successor at the helm of affairs of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).
Football is Nigeria’s numero uno sport. Young and old are always filled with ecstatic joy whenever the Super Eagles or any Nigerian national team plays. Gusau’s emergence has signaled hope for Nigeria’s grassroots football as he has promised to rebuild the domestic leagues.
If this is executed successfully and football improves, it will undoubtedly reflect in other sports-related sectors, such as sport betting in Nigeria.
Achievements of the outgoing NFF president
Gusau is stepping into the big shoes of Amaju Pinnick, the erstwhile NFF president. Amaju Pinnick was the only NFF president to lead Nigerian football for two consecutive four-year terms.
Pinnick decided against a third term election after facing a huge outcry from Nigerians following the Super Eagles’ dismal outing at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Cameroon and the Super Eagles’ failed World Cup qualification bid.
The most remarkable achievement of Pinnick’s leadership was the improvement of funding for the NFF through strategic business moves, partnerships, and corporate sponsorship initiatives.
Nigerian football no longer depends on the government for most of its funding. This makes it possible for the NFF to pursue some important initiatives for football development.
Pinnick’s penchant for meddling in the affairs of Nigerian squads during tournaments may have caused more harm than good for Nigerian football. Still, it did not stop him from taking Nigerian football to new heights within the eight years he was in charge.
Meet the new NFF president
Ibrahim Gusau is the 40th president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). He brings his rich football administration experience to the NFF. Gusau was the immediate past chairman of the Zamfara State Football Association.
Ibrahim Gusau is a certified accountant who worked for Zamfara State’s Ministry of Finance. Since delving into sports administration, Gusau has served as president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and as a member of CAF’s organizing committee for the African Nations Championship.
Gusau has been the NFF chairman of state FA chairmen for the past eight years. His experience in sports administration, finances, and leadership acumen is needed to take the NFF to greater heights.
What Nigerian football needs right now
Nigerian football needs significant improvements. Gusau has promised to develop grassroots football, age-grade football, and the administration of the NPFL, NNL, NLO, and the NWFL. He believes these areas are crucial to developing strong national teams for Nigeria.
While many are waiting to see Gusau’s first moves, some controversy is already arising due to his active contention for the PDP governorship ticket for Zamfara State.
Gusau has strong political ambitions, and many people with key interests in the NFF are concerned that politics may be a major distraction for him.