By Oluwakemi Ishola
The Federal Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has read out the riot acts to the Nigerian Football Federation and club owners that no stadium would be opened for any football game without strict adherence to the sports protocols, even as there must be total implementation of the club licensing control before the new football season can resume.
According to a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mr Gabriel Aduda, “ We are happy that the ban on sports has been lifted after so many months of inactivity due to the Covid-19 scourge . The Ministry is not oblivious of the challenges that would be encountered in organising football matches. We canot take anything for granted. As a way of safeguarding the lives of our players, coaches, officials and fans, approval must be sought and given before any game is played. The Ministry would ensure that all protocols and guidelines are obeyed as directed by PTF and NCDC.”
The Ministry has set up a COVID-19 monitoring and approval team which would ensure compliance before any game is played.
Aduda warned that the Nigerian domestic league would not resume until basic conditions are fulfilled. ” We have a responsibility to enforce the implementation of the club licensing control as stipulated in the statues setting up the Nigerian Professional Football League .The domestic League will not commence until the regulations and controls bothering on financial and licensing control are enforced. The NFF must enforce these regulations and controls as stipulated, otherwise the Nigerian Professional and Amateur Leagues would not be approved to resume.These include proper licensing of players, Insurance for players and coaches , compliance with FIFA rules on players contract and transfer, running the clubs as professional endeavour among others.
The statement directed the NFF to communicate these decisions to the clubs to forestall any crisis.