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Nigerian Football

NFF SETS MARCH 2018 FOR RELOCATION TO DANKARO HOUSE

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

 

The Nigeria Football Federation will in March 2018 relocate to its permanent facilities at the Package B of the National Stadium, Abuja.

The new headquarters, Dankaro House, was hurriedly commissioned on July 18, 2013, even though the previous administration and the current one lay claim to some defects in the building that needed rectification apart from the need to get befitting furniture.

Sports Village Square gathered from the president of the organisation, Amaju Pinnick that the movement will be in phases as some staff will still have to operate from the current facility at Zone 7 in Abuja.

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When the movement is effected, Sports Village Square can authoritatively declare that the Dankaro House with be the fifth secretariat the football governing body would occupy since Nigeria’s independence in 1960.

In the 1960s, the football governing body operated from the then Lagos City Stadium that changed name to Onikan Stadium. By the 1970s, the secretariat moved to a prefabricated wooden complex under the eastern pavilion of the National Stadium terraces.

From there, the secretariat moved in 1991 to the twin duplex at Ogunlana Drive in Surulere Lagos which the then NFA had acquired as national team hostel in the 1960s. The twin duplex now serves as the organisation’s Lagos liaison office. On Thursday January 2, 1997, the body moved to its current location in Abuja.

The issue of an enduring secretariat for the NFF had been on long before the current administration.

The late Commodore Edwin Kentebe, as the chairman of the then NFA in 1973 claimed that his administration had plans to rebuild the two-storey block at Ogunlana Drive. The proposal remained on the drawing board till he left office that year.

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Over a decade later, the then Group Captain Ikazoboh set a fund-raising committee in 1986 for a football house. The project, a five-storey building, largely of concrete, was to be within the National Stadium complex in Lagos.

Chief Nathaniel Idowu headed the committee.   But before it could begin work, the committee was sacked along with the Ikazoboh’s board that established it.

The initially proposed office block for the then NFA under Anthony Ikhazoboh

   In 1989, when Ikazoboh was reappointed as NFA chairman, another committee set up was headed by Alhaji Mohammed Grema. It suffered the same fate as its predecessor.

By the turn of the century, the idea of a football house seemed to have been abandoned. It never featured in the handover of succeeding administrators.

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The regime of Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima on October 15, 2003 got the approval of The Goal Bureau of FIFA to build a technical centre in Abuja. The then NFA came up with an architectural design of a building tagged “The Eagle House”.

It was to incorporate a training camp. The project did not see the light of the day before the board was ousted.

The architect impression of the “Eagle House”, a proposed secretariat of the NFA under Ibrahim Galadima.

In 2012, a third architectural design of a proposed headquarters for the football governing body was unveiled. Like the technical centre which is part of the Abuja National Stadium complex, it is also part of the FIFA Goal Project in Nigeria as the approval for the construction of the federation headquarters was approved by FIFA on December 1, 2009.

According to FIFA, the project is estimated at $650,000 out of which the Goal Bureau of FIFA will pay $400,000 leaving the remaining $250,000 for the NFF to bear.  But the NFF later sought for amendment to the original project and proposed a national technical centre in Bauchi.

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So, in February 2012 when the foundation for the new secretariat was being laid, the credit was given to the National Sports Commission and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Nigeria’s participation at the World Cup 2010 as the financier.

The project estimated at N350 million is named Sunday Dankaro House, after the man with the longest tenure as the head of the Nigerian football governing body. It was under him that the country first won the African Cup of Nations in 1980.

The Sunday Dankaro House was a legacy project of Rotimi Amaechi’s Presidential Task Force.

According to a member of the PTF, Olusegun Adeniyi, the edifice is built on a gross floor area of 2,000 square metres and boasts of a helipad, a courtyard, a penthouse and a manicured park.

The ground floor has a conference room and 12 self contained offices with associate conveniences while the first floor has 14 of such offices. Also on the first floor are a big conference hall and the office of the General Secretary.

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The second floor is the penthouse which accommodates office of the President. It also has two conference halls. More than two years after its completion, the NFF failed to move into the complex on account of not having the fun to furnish the offices.

 

 

 

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s broadcast icon, Danladi Bako hails NFF on choice of Finidi George

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Nigerian broadcasting icon, Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako has praised the Nigeria Football Federation for settling for former international and ex-Enyimba FC strategist Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

The Kogunan Sakwatto, 66, who created a plethora of famous TV programmes including Morning RideMastersports and Second Chance, among others, and served as Special Adviser to a number of Sports Ministers many years ago, insisted the NFF leadership struck a bull’s eye with the appointment of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, stating that George oozes class and character, and an iron determination to succeed despite his public carapace of a quiet person.

“Finidi George has that cultured, disciplined mien and personality that makes you want to trust him with a big project. He understands the meaning of constituted authority and right from his playing days, has always displayed the attribute of a team player. He has always had that calm, collected nature even in the face of pressure or danger.

“Above all, he is not someone who thinks he is doing the nation a favour. He is grateful for the opportunity and I believe that he has all it takes to succeed. I am calling on the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, the NFF and Nigerians as a whole to support him to take the Super Eagles to brand-new heights.”

Bako, who holds a doctorate degree in development communication from the Ahmadu Bello University and was Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission between 1999 and 2002, says all hands must now be on deck to ensure victories in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic on 7 June and 11 June respectively.

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“No doubt, the NFF got this one appointment right. Very much on point. Now, they should endeavour to give George all the support he needs to succeed in his task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s sports minister, Enoh applauds NFF for ‘buying local material’

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Sports Minister Enoh (left) and NFF President Gusau (right) unveil Finidi.

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh on Monday praised the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for settling for an indigenous Head Coach for the Super Eagles, despite the plethora of foreign tacticians who applied for the job.

Enoh, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony of the Eagles’ new substantive Head Coach, Finidi George at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, charged the NFF to give the former winger all the support to succeed, while also soliciting the support of all Nigerians for the new helmsman.

“As a student of the University of Calabar in those days, I used to go to the UJ Esuene Stadium to watch Calabar Rovers, which included Finidi George. I am excited to see him seated here as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles.”

President of NFF,  Ibrahim Musa Gusau exuded delight with the ‘new chapter’ the Federation is opening about the Nigeria game, saying the football-governing body is determined to fully support George and his assistants to lead the Super Eagles to new heights.

“When we returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, we began the search for a new Head Coach. There was a plethora of foreign applicants, far more than the indigenous applicants. However, we undertook a thorough process that has produced an indigenous Coach and we are very happy about that. Finidi George was part of the technical crew that came close to winning the AFCON, and we have faith in him that he will lead the team to the title next time.  

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“Our objective now is to ensure the enthronement of excellence at all levels of the National Teams.”

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Nigerian Football

No more bench-warmers in the Super Eagles, says Finidi George

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New man on the managerial saddle of the Super Eagles, Finidi George has stated that  he will invite for international assignments, only players who feature regularly at their clubs either in Nigeria or in the diaspora, and promised that the Super Eagles will remain even more competitive in the years ahead.

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