With few days to the long anticipated election that will usher a new leadership for Benue State Football Association (BEFA), frontline chairmanship contender, Barr. Paul Edeh, has revealed his vision and uttermost desire if voted into office.
Barr. Edeh who spoke in Makurdi while fielding questions from Journalists said his vision for Benue FA is simply captured in three tripod of football development as encapsulated by the World football governing body in the FIFA Forward Programme.
He said, “My vision for Benue FA is anchored on a tripod encapsulated in the FIFA Forward Programme 3.0 namely; increased investment in football development, more impact through the achievement of football development objectives and continued oversight to ensure that all funds are used responsibly.
“I am keen about raising funds to execute football development programmes in the State. As an FA Chairman, I’ll ensure that funds are raised to execute umpactful programmes and ensure that accountability is our watch word. When philanthropists, corporate organisations, the state government and private individuals give support, they expect that such funds are used for the purpose that it was intended for. Under my watch, we will and must account for every dim that we received.”
Edeh, a notable philanthropist and President, Ratels Sports Development Foundation (RSDF) also said that empowering the various 23 football area councils remained one of his cardinal objectives, adding, “Three things are also involved in moving Benue FA forward. First is to empower the local FAs in the 23 local government areas.
“Under my watch, I will ensure that the Local FAs are empowered and given what is due to them. The Board under my watch will advocate that each Locak FA develops its framework for developing the game in their local communities. I will see to how local FAs will operate with so much vigour and commitment to develop the game at the grassroots.
“We will seek to collaborate with the state government and thankfully we have a dynamic leadership in the state today that listens and wants to see how the game of football progresses. We will empower the local FAs and see that they can do as much as they can.
“There is no football without balls, you can not grow football without making sure there is avalanch of balls to young boys and girls at the grassroots to enhance constant practice and matches. By all standards, the FA will partner with football production companies to produce between 10,000 to 20,000 balls which will go to all football council areas to sell at very minimal costs. We will queue in, introduce and explore the business aspect of football to sustain the game.”
Barr Edeh, a veteran football club owner and administrator per excellence took time to heap plaudits on the incumbent BEFA leadership led by Rt. Hon. Margaret Icheen for her foresight in advancing the course of football development in the state.
He said, “So far, what I have done by way of partnering the FA over the years is because of the commitment and capacity of the leader of Benue football Rt. Hon. Margaret Icheen. She has done so much for the betterment and growth of football in Benue state.
“Inspite of lack of fund, she has led the FA to make remarkable impacts which attracted a person like me to get involved.”
On the non-organisation of Governor’s Cup in past seven years, Barr. Edeh expressed dismay over the inability of the immediate past state government to use such avenue to harness budding talents prevalent in communities.
He then said, “When I become FA chairman, the first thing I will do is to seek and crave the indulgence of our capable incumbent governor to give the FA permission to sponsor and organise the Governor’s Cup competition this year.
“It is the governor himself who funds it, and all the local government chairmen also fund their local teams. That has always been the tradition, but this time around because we know, that the current administration has Benue at heart, we must not always seek to collect from those in government, we should also seek to give back.”
Already, Barr. Edeh has been substantially screened and cleared to contest the upcoming BEFA election scheduled for Saturday June 17, 2023.