The Senate on Tuesday passed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) bill in a bid to finally legalise the country’s football governing body.
This comes after the upper legislative chamber adopted the report on the NFF Establishment Bill 2017 by the Senate Committee on Sports and Youths Development chaired by Senator Obinna Ogba.
Presenting the report to the Senate, Ogba stated that it had become necessary to repeal the extant laws guiding football in the country and give legal backing to its administration in lieu of the decree that birthed it, Punch writes.
According to the senator, the bill would enable issues affecting the NFF to be resolved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport as opposed to regular courts and ensure the entrenchment of best practices in the administration of the game locally.
“It has become necessary to repeal the Extant Act. This is because it requires a lot of amendments to bring it into agreement with FIFA required international best practices. It is to give the desired boost it requires.
“It seeks to ensure that only those who are actually involved in competitive football are members of the federation, not just organisations and establishments as contained in the Extant Act.
“The bill also makes provision for the election of a president to lead the executive committee as against the existing law where the NFF is a board appointed from different organisations.
“It further seeks to ensure mandatory systematic development of football through institutional, age and gender competitions.
“Also, the bill makes provision for development of coaches and referees to enable them participate in international competitions.”
Stating that the bill eliminates the perennial problem of funding of the sport,Ogba called on their colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass a similar bill for concurrence and onward transmission to the Presidency for assent.
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, described the passage of the bill as a welcome development in Nigerian football.
“The message here is for us to bring Nigeria in line with best practices and best ways to administer football in the country.
“This has been an embarrassment over the years but with the passage of this bill the grey areas will be taken care of,” he said.