Abuja - Amanze Uchegbulam, a former Nigeria
Football Association (NFA) Board member, has advised the National Sports
Commission (NSC) against interfering with the association’s plan for
the 2013 African Cup of Nations.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the advice became necessary
following what happened when the federal government set up a
Presidential Task Force (PTF) in 2009.
NAN reports that the PTF was set up by the federal government to
oversee the Super Eagles’ qualification and participation at the 2010
FIFA World Cup.
The task force was headed then by Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, with other eminent Nigerians as members.
Uchegbulam who spoke with NAN in Abuja over the telephone on Sunday
said the Task Force then, instead of being a guide, became more of a
"It was a distraction to the Eagles and the NFA.
"The Task Force dumped most of the plans developed by the technical
crew and the NFA board towards the World Cup in South Africa.
"So, this time around, agencies such as the National Sports
Commission (NSC) should give the NFA all they need to perform and not
"Past experience has shown that the next thing the NSC will do now
will be to set up a committee for the Eagles’ participation at the
"But during our own time at the NFA, the Presidential Task Force
that was set up interfered with the plans of the FA and that was the
confusion that created problems,’’ Uchegbulam said.
The former NFA board member, who is the current Chairman of the Imo
State Football Association, warned that any attempt to put pressure on
the Eagles to win the trophy could be disastrous.
He said personal interests and interference, if not avoided now,
could jeopardise Nigeria’s chances of surpassing its past records at the
"They should allow NFA and Keshi to settle down and build a formidable team for the Nations Cup.
"Everyone knows so much and I think that is where the problem will come from.
"If the can allow then to concentrate and build on their programme, I think they will do well in South Africa," Uchegbula said.