Senate President David Mark Tuesday warned that if Nigeria as a country must get it right in the area of Sports and compete favourably with other nations of the world, there was the urgent need for the Federal government to stop what he termed lip service to the sector and show serious commitment.
Lamenting the deplorable condition of Sports and its facilities in the country, the Senate President who cited the Abuja National Stadium as a case study in this bad state of the sector, stressed that the edifice had been taken over by reptiles and weeds due largely to lack of attention by the government.
He equally decried the way the country’s Super Eagles was starting its 2014 World Cup qualifier, warning, “It will be a major embarrassment if Nigeria fails to qualify for the World Cup.
Senator Mark who also accused the Federal Government of being solely responsible for Nigeria’s dwindling sports development, stressed that sports administrators were running the sector purely on what he termed their selfish desires.
The Senate President spoke yesterday during debates on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigerian Football Association Act Cap. N110 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Enact the Nigerian Football Federation Act 2013 to provide for football administration in Nigeria which was sponsored by Senate Committee Chairman on Sports and Social Development, Senator Ibrahim Gumba, PDP, Bauchi South.
He said, “Football unites Nigerians and we have to do what it takes to save football in the country. Government cannot fund football and not be involved and this is what FIFA doesn’t want so we need to strike a delicate balance”, he said, adding: “This Bill needs to be accelerated so that we can remove the gray areas. Government alone cannot run football”.