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Power Struggles

Nanama Keita/Daily Observer/TwentyTen

Location: Abuja, Nigeria

It is difficult to imagine any team struggling through a more chaotic build-up to a major football competition than Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.

The West Africans’ hopes of  a smooth campaign in the first-ever FIFA World Cup finals on African soil this summer have been threatened by an unending collision involving the national football’s governing body, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Presidential Task Force (PTF), an ad-hoc committee set up to oversee the Super Eagles’ success in 2010 campaign.

The PTF was set up by the country’s former President, the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, to compliment the efforts of the NFF who determined the team that qualified for the 2010 World Cup. However, the two organisations continue to step on each others’ toes. Despite achieving their target of seeing Nigeria qualify for the World Cup competition, albeit in an unconvincing fashion, the politically motivated committee refused to disband afterwards. Their involvement in the Super Eagles’ journey to success seems to be a great threat to NFF’s efforts, who has dubbed PTF’s involvement as an attempt to duplicate their effort to re-brand Nigerian football.

 “The Presidential Task Force will undoubtedly disturb our activities in South Africa because we are not on the same page as them,” said NFF Assistant Chief Communication Officer, Abdul Baki.

The PTA started to stamp its authority on the highest level of Nigerian soccer by jettisoning indigenous Coach Shaibu Amodu, who presided over the Super Eagles’ disappointing third-place finish in the 2010 African Cup of Nations...

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