What are they smoking at Nigeria Football Federation?

I'm sorry John Henry, Liverpool's boss. If you really tweeted that "What are they smoking over there at the Emirates, then I have to give you credit for that.

Permission to use this, "What are they smoking over there at the NFF because I have to.

I keep getting people tweet at me querying why we do not keep records in Africa.

In my defensive attitude, I snap at them trying to say records are kept but maybe not as much as they should be.

The recent development since the Federation Cup final in Lagos on Sunday, September 15 completely takes the cake and should only lead to one thing.

Personally, I will call for a public apology from the Nigeria Football Federation Director of Competitions, Mohammed Sanusi and I will also ask the Chief Media Officer of the Nigeria Football Federation, my senior colleague, Ademola Olajire to follow suit.

This is because they successfully misinformed the world on Tuesday, September 17, 2013.

Federation Cup top scorer

Possible, some journalist or group of journalists wrote a report naming Warri Wolves' forward, Musa Najare as top scorer in the Federation Cup on five goals.

The Nigeria Football Federation did not just see that as wrong, they issued an email message to journalists, first of all castigating the pen pushers and then "setting the records straight".


2013 Federation Cup: How Utibe Archibong emerged Top Scorer

The Competitions Department of Nigeria Football Federation has revealed how Akwa Starlet forward, Utibe Archibong emerged the Top Scorer of the 2013 Federation Cup competition (men’s event), putting to rest needless speculation in a section of the media as to the winner of the trophy.

NFF’s Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi said on Tuesday morning that he was disappointed that some reporters filed stories of an inexistent controversy without seeking to establish the facts by contacting the NFF.

“It is a shame that some people went to press and on the airwaves to weave a controversy that never existed.

“The player of Akwa Starlet FC, Utibe Archibong had the same tally of five goals at the end of the men’s competition as Musa Najare of Warri Wolves FC. But Archibong played fewer number of matches and in the true spirit of FIFA regulations and global best practice, he is the winner having played less number of matches than Najare.

“Gentlemen of the media should desist from creating artificial controversies. They would have saved themselves the trouble by simply cross-checking the facts with the Competitions Department.”

From available statistics, Archibong scored his five goals thus:

. Akwa Starlet Vs Kwara United (Round of 64) – 2 goals
. Dolphins FC Vs Akwa Starlet (Round of 32) – 1 goal
. Akwa Starlet Vs Abia Warriors (Round of 16) – 1 goal
. Akwa Starlet Vs Lobi Stars (Quarter finals) – 1 goal

From the statistics, Najare scored his five goals thus:

. Warri Wolves Vs Sportlight FC (Round of 32) – 1 goal
. Niger Tornadoes Vs Warri Wolves (Round of 16) – 1 goal
. Warri Wolves Vs Kano Pillars (Quarter finals) – 2 goals
. Warri Wolves Vs Enyimba FC (Final)            - 1 goal

However, Utibe Archibong, whose team crashed out in the quarter finals after a 2-1 defeat by Lobi Stars, played fewer number of matches in the competition than Musa Najare.

Two other players finished with four goals each. They are Kingsley Sokari of champions Enyimba FC and Oboto Cyril of Gombe United FC.

While Oboto scored all his four goals in one match (Gombe United Vs Bussdor FC – Round of 64), Sokari spread his goals for Enyimba FC against Police Machine (Round of 64); Remo Stars (Round of 32);
Shooting Stars (Round of 16) and; Nasarawa United (Quarter finals).

Now reading through this harsh Press release from the NFF, issued by Ademola Olajire one may be led to believe that Nigerian journalists are so daft that they peddle falsehood without first clearing from the NFF Competitions department.

But if you have followed Nigerian football as much as I have especially the Federation Cup you would soon realise that the NFF people had no facts, did not verify anything because they obviously had no fact and just went ahead to publish falsehood.

How difficult is it to keep records?

First of all, Utibe Archibong did not score five Federation Cup goals but four.

Even in an interview with www.supersport.com, the same Utibe said he has scored four goals so why is the NFF competition department imposing a fifth goal on him? Looks like someone there has something up his sleeves.

Then again, looking at the list of phantom goals, Dr. Sanusi Mohammed claims Utibe Archibong scored a goal in the Federation Cup Round of 32 game against Dolphins.

I watched that game in Umuahia, and it ended goaless. How can they explain to us how a player scored a goal in a match that ended goaless?

But in that unforgivable error, they used harsh words on the same journalists who wrote the truth as it was and still is.

Another unforgiveable error is saying a fictitious player, Cyril Oboto of Gombe United has scored four goals.

There is no record of any Cyril Oboto who plays for Gombe United in this 2012/13 football season.

The only player of Gombe United on record who has scored four goals is Cyril Chinedu Olisema. There is no existing Gombe United player called Cyril Oboto.

Who are these people in the Nigeria Football Federation who have no records of a competition that ended just three days ago?

At this rate we have to cross check and doubly verify our facts before our final World Cup qualifying games against Ethiopia, lest we field an ineligible player.

If our NFF do not know who has scored goals in a competition organised by them, they certainly will not know who has received yellow cards in a competition organised by FIFA.

All one hundred and sixty million Nigerians will have to help the NFF verify on the eligibility of our players before the game against Ethiopia so we do not get disqualified.

Meanwhile, we await the apology from the NFF competitions department.

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