NFF rebukes Gara Gombe over misguided comments on sports minister

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has chided a rampant stakeholder Gara Gombe over his recent unguarded comment regarding its cordial relationship with the Minister of Sports development Senator John Owan Enoh.

NFF in a statement on Friday said, “The Nigeria Football Federation considers recent insinuations by a football stakeholder and one-time Chairman of the Gombe State Football Association, Alhaji Ahmed Shuaibu Gara Gombe, that the cordial relationship between the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh and the Federation is untoward, to be entirely baseless.

“Since his assumption of the office a year ago, the Honourable Minister has been very positive, dynamic, transparent and energetic in supporting all activities, events and programmes of the NFF and the National Teams, as well as in driving new thinking and ideas about taking Nigeria Football to new heights of excellence.

“As far as the NFF is concerned, a strong and necessary bond has been established between the Honourable Minister and the football-governing body in the overall interest of the Nigeria game, and only lovers of crises, conflicts, endless strifes and chaos will be unhappy at seeing a good relationship between a supervising Ministry and a sports federation.

“On the reference to the Minister being on the delegation to Cairo to push Nigeria’s bid for hosting of the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations, it is important to enlighten Alhaji Gara Gombe that bidding for major sporting competitions (which even the smallest countries of the world do now and again) is not the call of a sport federation, but that of Government. No bid succeeds without the visible and active support, and gravitas, of Government.

“The NFF’s rating of Senator John Owan Enoh, as he celebrates his first year in office, is that of a man who is committed to changing the negative narratives in our sports industry, and who listens to people with positive vibes and constructive criticisms, and would not be deterred by obstacles, hurdles and odds placed on his path by centrifugal forces.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the NFF celebrates the Honourable Minister for the giant strides that Nigeria Football has made (and still making) in his one year in office, and we assure him that the NFF will continue to co-operate fully with him to accomplish all the noble and positive goals that he envisions for the nation’s game now and in the foreseeable future.”

Gara Gombe has been notorious of causing frictions in different sports Federations including NFF, Athletics Federation of Nigeria and Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).