“Former First Vice President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Mazi Amanze Uchegbulam, has shown interest in taking over for departing President Amaju Pinnick.
At the FA headquarters in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, Uchegbulam, the current chairman of the Imo Football Association, yesterday announced his intention to football stakeholders.
As he vowed to bring Nigeria back to the international scene, he criticised the appalling status of football in the nation.
“In a football game, you wait for the referee to announce the official start of the game. Now that the game has been proclaimed open, I today declare my interest in being the next NFF President to improve the reputation of Nigerian football administration, Uchegbulam remarked.
“In response to the proposal made by the Imo Football Association at our congress in May 2022 that I should be considered for the post, I’m here to announce that I have done extensive research and have my family’s backing. As has been demanded by everyone, I have chosen to run for the post,” the FA manager remarked.
He claims that he is 68 years old, not 74 as some troublemakers have stated, and that his age has not changed since he was elected First Vice President, despite his calls for the media and everyone else to be accurate.
“Nobody is satisfied with the present situation of the league; it is almost dead,” he stated. “We need to hire people who are knowledgeable in football administration to improve it. It is time to bring the finest, and I promise that in four years under my leadership, you all will be proud of the NFF. We need to restore openness and the NFF’s reputation. We also need to ensure that referees and match commissioners are paid promptly.
It’s time to restore the NFF to its former glory, Uchegbulam said, adding, “I guarantee you that if I manage football administration for the next four years, you will thank me because I’m recognised for transparency and effort.”
He acknowledged that he had the necessary experience and knowledge because he had previously held positions with FIFA, CAF, and the NFF. He said: “While I was a member of the Technical Committee with Adegboye Onigbinde as Chairman, Nigeria won the African Nations Cup (1994), qualified for the World Cup, and performed admirably in our debut in USA 94.
“In 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, we also took home the Olympic Gold Medal. Our finest squad to date is the 1994, 1996, and 1998 teams, which we raised. I’ll recreate that magic for you and create a team of Super Eagles that we can all be proud of.
“Nigeria qualified for nine World Cups when I served as first vice president, including the Under 17 team, Under 20, Under 23, men’s and women’s teams, Super Falcons, Super Eagles, and beach soccer. Brazil was the only country in the world to do it. Go ahead and be sure. Under Sani Lulu, this occurred.
“I handled 33 cases throughout my twelve years of service with the CAF, and to date, no decision has been overturned because I always behaved ethically. I’ve worked with a variety of Football House Presidents, and I know what’s effective. I’ll restart the under-13, under-15 teams when players like Kelechi Iheanacho were first found.
To put a stop to judicial battles, we must domesticate our laws. It’s time to give technocrats control of football management. Nigeria will develop and utilise local coaches while I’m in charge, getting rid of the foreign coaches who aren’t there and don’t produce excellent outcomes. Make me the NFF President, and I’ll make you proud to be Nigerians, stated Amanze Uchegbulam.