By Emmanuel Afonne
Godfrey Gaiya, a former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports has blamed the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the resignation of U-23 football coach Samson Siasia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Siasia who led the Dream Team VI to win Nigeria’s only medal (Bronze) at the Rio Olympics cited “a disrespectful football system” as reason for his action.
Siasia said that he decided to quit his job after a turbulent and incredible outing in Brazil which the sports authorities in the country never appreciated.
According to him, he has reached a point where he has to say enough is enough considering that he has gone about five months without salary.
Gaiya, however, told NAN in an interview on Saturday that Siasia’s action was an indication that the Amaju Pinnick led board of the NFF cannot manage the national teams and their players.
“Siasia is not the first person to resign; Sunday Oliseh also resigned his appointment.
“Stephen Keshi resigned too and if you recall, my committee had to beg Keshi not to resign after he won the AFCON 2013; so, it is a very bad omen.
“It is disastrous and an indication that our football house cannot manage even the coaches of the national teams because there is no coach that has an enabling environment to work that will want to resign.
“It is the system that has made Siasia to do what he has done; he has sacrificed for this nation several times and he led Nigeria to the only medal we won at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“For him to resign after winning that only medal tells you about the NFF, football administration and the insincerity of those in power,’’ Gaiya said.
The former House of Reps member lamented the attitude of NFF towards the plights of players and coaches in the country, noting that its leadership might have lost focus.
Gaiya wondered why the NFF should spend millions of naira to host the FIFA President Gianni Infantino, in a five star hotel, while its players and coaches live in penury.
“The no-money, no-money syndrome of the NFF tells you that there is no scale of preference in the football house.
“Usually, you start with the most important to the least important, but in Nigeria, the most important will not give the people the kick-back they desire.
“As such, the least important becomes most important because of the vested interest attached to it; I don’t believe that the NFF leadership knows what they are doing.
“I don’t see how we can host Infantino with all the people in his entourage in a five star hotel, yet our players are playing in penury.
“I see it as a misplacement of priority and it appears somebody somewhere does not know what his duty is; it is condemnable and we cannot accept it,’’ he added.
NAN recalls that Sunday Oliseh, a former Super Eagles Head Coach, resigned his appointment after spending about six months on the job citing irreconcilable difference with the NFF.
Oliseh also attributed his decision to resign to lack of support and contract violations by the NFF.
He also claimed that the NFF owed him few months’ salary before his resignation.
Efforts to speak with the leadership of the NFF failed as the phones of the General-Secretary Mohammed Sanusi and Assistant Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, were switched off.