The purpose of the study was to examine Nigeria football Federation and development of football in Nigeria. To achieve this purpose, six researcher questions were posed and four null hypotheses postulated for their verification at 0.05 alpha level. A descriptive survey research design was used for the study. There was no sample in the study; hence all the 223 respondents were used. The researcher designed the checklist, questionnaire and documentary information proforma for data collection. There were 82 items reflecting checklist on the appointment and recruitment of NFF board members, management staff, technical crew, national football players and provision of football facilities while twenty four items were generated and included in the questionnaire. Five experts in physical education, sports and recreation validated the instruments. The final draft of the questionnaire had a 4 – point rating scale of Very High Extent = 4, High Extent = 3, Low Extent = 2, Very Low Extent = 1 which addressed sections B, C, D and E on the extent of Nigeria football federation as regards provision of football facilities by NFF as index of football development in Nigeria, the extent of funding of football in Nigeria through NFF as index of football development, the aspects of football programmes that are improved by the Nigeria football federation, the extent Nigeria football federation contributed to football development in Nigeria and to which extent Nigeria football federation official ranks contributed to success of Nigeria football respectively. Cronbach’s Alpha reliability method was used to establish the reliability of the instrument. The respondents consisted of 16 NFF board members, 21 management staff, 48 technical crew and 138 national football players in Nigeria football federation. The mean score was used to answer the six research questions. One-way Analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistic was used to test the four hypotheses and also Scheffe’s post hoc analysis (pair wise comparism) was further used to test the significant difference in the mean scores of the official ranks. The following were the major results of the study. The Nigeria football federation did not have fair and equitable provision of football facilities in national zones of Nigeria, the Nigeria football federation had some impacts in funding the game of football in Nigeria, and the NFF did improved aspects football programmes especially the recruitment of indigenous coaches for national teams. The 1, 2 & 4 null hypotheses were rejected, while hypothesis 3 was accepted thus (4.149>.003, 3.092 >.017, .855 <.492 and 5.693>.000) respectively. Subsequently the implications of the findings for development of football in Nigeria were proffered among others; the inability of federation to ensure equitable appointments of staff, recruitment of technical crew and selection of national players. This forms the basis of disaffection among various groups in Nigeria, therefore the government stalwart mare football development in Nigeria. It was recommended that since the ministry sports and social development has failed to ensure fair and equal appointments and recruitment in NFF, there is need for establishment of monitory or evaluation units in the Nigeria football federation to monitor or evaluate development of football in Nigeria in accordance with its guiding principles among others recommendations.
Background to the study
Nigeria became a political entity following the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914. The British colonial administrator, Frederick Lugard, who was the architect of this union felt that this would help to solve the financial problems of the North, of which he was then the administrator. However, the interpretation of that exercise as a unification of two-well consolidated entities each of which had enjoyed recognized unique existence created political problems which extended to football in Nigeria. Ekeh (1989) asserted that from about 1950 to the present state of politics in Nigeria, there has always been the assumption that the North and the South are equal in status. The interpretation of the unification has been a major political issue in the governance of Nigeria.
The governing body of Nigeria football has gone through some metamorphoses. Starting as Nigerian Football Association (NFA) in 1938, it changed to Nigeria Football Association when it was reconstituted in November 1948, dropping its representative form for insular. But 60 years inter on July 24, 2008, the body changed to Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). That was the high point of the 2008 Annual General meeting of the body in Makurdi. In the early 1990s during the era of Air Commodore Sampson Emeka Omeruah as chairman, proposed to change the name of the body to Nigeria Football Federation, that the new name was a part of amendments to the statutes and that it was unanimously adopted by the house. However, the sports committee of the senate objected to the change in nomenclature, stating that the new name was not recognized by Nigeria laws. However, the body changed to NFF which has reached National Assembly in 2009 with not result yet.
Also, the insignia of the Eagles, which is also that of the football association had also changed. When the first national team left the shores of Nigeria on August 16, 1949, the 18 players and officials put on green blazers with NFA badge and grey flannel trousers. When the annual Nigeria-Ghana (then called Gold Coast) began on October 20, 1951, the NFA had a circular emblem with the inscription “Nigeria Football Association” on top of Gold Coast 1951.” In later years, especially in 1959, the Nigeria Football governing body had used illustrations on its letter heads. For instance, the application for affiliation into FIFA in 1959 had a goal-mouth scene. Another variation of the design as development in Nigeria football was used in the letter headed papers that the Nigeria football body used for its external communications to FIFA in 1960. And in 1963, the current NFA badge which is also what appears on the Eagles’ shirts is a green eagle atop a football. In the 1970s, two red rings were constructed round the emblem and the full name of the NFA was encircled around the eagle atop of ball.
Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) is a Federal Government Parastatal and is being administered under the Federal Civil Service Rules and Regulations, where the Federal Ministry of Sports and Social Development is the supervisory Ministry, the office of the Head of service of the federation is the over all authority (FCC, 1999). The Nigeria Football Federation is charged with development of football in the country. The extent to which the football development has taking place in Nigeria by the Nigerian Football Federation can only be revealed through a study such as this.
The Nigeria Football Association/Federation is composed of 16 board members excluding Secretary-General. The board members were selected from the eight football zones in the country. There are also 21 management/administrative staff which comprise the Secretary- General, Deputy Secretary- General (for general service), Deputy Secretary-General (Technical), Assistant Secretary-General (Competitions), Assistant Secretary-General (Technical), Assistant Secretary-General (Finance) and Assistant Secretary-General (Marketing) among others (office of the Head of civil service of the federation and NFF, 2010). The national players usually come through the open and selected camps. Each national football team/squad for a competition is usually made up of 18 – 23 players. The technical crew comprises chief coach, assistant coach I and II, medical doctor, Physio- therapist, team secretary and physical trainer. Each of the national teams is supposed to have all the above members of the technical crew.
Football is one of the major enterprises and perhaps the most popular sport and most important agent for the promotion and propagation of economic and socio-political values of a nation. Football serves as a pedestal on which greater economic, social and political attainments are built (Wikipedia, 2009). In this study, football is the sport/game that touches the lives and emotions of people of all ages and has brought the greatest honour to this country. Other values of football include: employment of coaches, players and other members of staff. In the business sphere, facility contractors, sports goods manufactures and general goods sellers are beneficiaries of football. It severs also as political tool which uplift the government and political to rise to certain heights. Football/sports development today, the general recognition of the importance of sports has made it to become a vehicle for promoting national unity and projecting the country’s image. This has brought about healthy rivalry among all the states of the Federation and helped to project the country’s image beyond her borders. There are various sporting arenas in the country. Apart for the multi-million naira National Sports Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, often referred to as sports city, there are other stadia of international standards in the country. They ire: liberty Stadium, Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, Ogbe Stadium, Benin, Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt, Madkurdi Stadium, Makurdi and Taslim Balogun Stadium Lagos. However, a contract for an Olympic Stadium has been ratified to be constructed in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. Moreover, there is a ‘supreme’ body that controls the game of football at all levels and in all categories throughout Nigeria starting from 1945, it is called the Nigerian Football Association (NFA) before the year 2008 when the name was changed to Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). The usage of NFF in this work also represents information pertaining to NFA. The formation of this body could be traced back to 1938 when the likes of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr Isaac Ladipo, Chief Etim Bassey, Mr. R.G. Marshal, Baron Mulford and D.H. Holley initiated the idea (Ogunjobi 2003). This lofty dream was however slowed down as a result of the Second World War which lasted between 1939 and 1945. The Nigerian Football Association (NFA) now Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) was officially launched in 1945 after the world war with Mr. R.G. Marshall as the first chairman. The Federation was charged with the responsibility to organize and look after the activities of football in Nigeria (http://home page. Usask.cal-iko 340/nfa-history. html). The mandates of the Federation are to:
Encourage the development of all forms of amateur and professional football in accordance with the statutes, rules and standing orders of the Nigeria Football Federation, and of any other international football body to which the Federation is affiliated. It encourages the affiliation of Nigerian football clubs with recognized international football bodies, to improve the standard or the performance of Nigerians in world of soccer. It also enhances the status and impartiality of football referees in Nigeria. It is also to find ways and means of ensuring the security and safety of soccer fans generally and the participants themselves in particular. It provides source of funding the game of football in Nigeria and finally it encourages the participation of Nigerian youths in the game of football (NFF, DECREE 101, 1992) (Appendix C).
In 1945, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe then a member of NFA board led a delegation of committee to the then Governor General of Nigeria, Sir Arthur Richards appealing to him to donate a cup that would be competed for by teams nation- wide. And that was the birth of The Governor’s Cup, which is now known as The Challenge CUP or better still, the football Association Cup. Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) formed the first national team in 1949. (see Appendix D Nigeria’s first national team) The players that made up the team were selected after a series of trial matches in the country.
In 1959, the Nigerian Football Association (NFA) got affiliated to Federation of International Football Association FIFA) and African Football League (AFL) now known as Confederation of African Football (CAF). In 1960, after Nigeria gained her independence, football organization shifted to Nigerians with Mr. Godfrey Amachiree emerging as the first indigenous chairman of Nigerian Football Association ( now NFF) (NFF 2003 Annual General meeting /congress, Abuja) (see Appendix H, past NFF chairmen with dates). The Nigerian Football Federation of today is the organizing body in Nigeria that regulates and organizes the football cup competitions such as National league, and international engagements involving Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), Confederation of African Football (CAF), and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) games among others. The above bodies are concerned with development of football. For the ideal practice in administration of football in Nigeria, the states including Federal Capital Territory, Abuja were grouped into eight National zones (Nigeria Football Federation Statutes, Rules and standing orders, 1992) (see appendix F and G). The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) provides and maintains technical and secretariat staff and offers all necessary assistance to each zone in the implementation of the overall objectives of the Federation. This arrangement will be important in checking the spread of development in the different parts of Nigeria. It is only by determining the administrative processes such as planning, budgeting, organizing, coordinating , controlling and evaluating of Nigeria Football Federation that the true position of the football development in Nigeria could be revealed.
Development is a gradual growing of something so that it becomes more advanced. It can also be described as the process of producing or creating something new or more advanced. Development could refer to qualitative changes. It indicates a change from one state to another. Commenting on the development of sports in Nigeria, Oranugo (2003) stated that for sports development in Nigeria, one would say is below expectation from the point of view of the modern trend the world over, even in Africa and when the position of Nigeria is taken into consideration with other nations of Africa, Nigeria sports development level would seem to be far below expectation. Operationally football development is the process of continuous improvement of the football structure, institutions and programmes in order to create enabling condition for effective functioning and self-actualization. NFF should be expected to contribute to football development in Nigeria in terms of the following components/indices of football development:
International football which is the football competitions organized by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) into the following national teams: Senior National Team (Super Eagles) and Junior National Team, All-Africa games/olympic Football Event (under 23), Youth Team (under-20 National Team, Flying Eagles), National Cadet Team, under 17 (Golden Eaglets), National schools Team, under 15 (young Eaglets), Female National Team (Falcons) and Junior Female National Team (Falconets). Indigenous football such as professional league in Nigeria, Amateur league and these are the male and female football leagues in Nigeria. Other indices of football development include facilities, personnel, funding. Others also include international sports, indigenous sports, stadium management, institutional sports an sports/ football Associations. According to Onah (2011) indices or development are usually such things as increase in the gross national product, technological growth with the accompanying industrialization and modernization. It is only a study, such as the present effort which can reveal the actual level of football development in Nigeria.
Extent is the coverage or degree or proportion to which a programme or instruction is observed, analysed and reported (Merriam-webster 2000) extent is the range or quality or information that is included in a course or study. However the word extent means range which brings up in our minds the idea of spreading of something as well as the dimension of length width and depth. Extent according to Merriam (2000) is the coverage to which a programme of studies is observed, analyzed and reported in the instruction process. Extent in the context of this study is the coverage to which the scope, indices, ideas, concepts, skills and behavioural changes in the football development are observed, analysed and reported. Wood (2001) defined observation as the ability to identify important details in study in order to define it clearly.
Statement of the Problem
In the yes of her friends and foes, Nigeria is a potential economic and sports giant. It is the most populous black nation in the world, yet it is not a world power. The most striking aspect of her growing reputation is in the field of organized sports-football where she has achieved few isolated successes in global competitions. The country’s football development experience has not been a pleasant one. Therefore, the extent of growth/development of football in Nigeria by Nigeria football Federation (NFF) is not desirable compared to what happens in other countries such as South Africa, England, Italy, France etc.
Vision 2010 sports group final report (1997) revealed that the major problems which have tended to slow down our sports development efforts have been traced to administrative and funding areas. In administrative area, there are policy inconsistency and instability. This has been the bane of sports in Nigeria. According to the report, between 1971 when the National sports commission was established by Decree 34 and 1997, there have been no fewer than sixteen (16) chief executives of sports within the twenty six (26) year period. Going by the above figures, the average administrative life span of each chief executive is 1.625 years. In fact, some chief executive served for less than this average administrative time.