The Senate yesterday passed the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) Bill 2017, which is now on transit to the president to sign it into law.
The passage of the Bill followed a clause-by-clause consideration of the report by the Senate Committee on Sports and Youth Development and was presented by its chairman, Senator Obinna Ogba.
In his presentation, Ogba explained that it had become essential to abrogate the extant law because of the controversies usually trailing the execution and regulation of the activities of football in the country.
He said that there had been series of court cases relating to football in the country, which did not go well with the country in the comity of nations, adding that the bill seeks to end all pending court cases about the NFF as they would be tackled by the Court of Arbitration and not regular courts.
He said: “It has become necessary to repeal the Extant Act. This is because it requires a lot of amendments to bring it into agreement with FIFA required international best practices. It is to give the desired boost it requires.
“The Bill has no financial implication because it is only seeking for a change in the name of the football body in order to achieve greater and better results in future.
“It seeks to ensure that only those who are actually involved in competitive football matches are members of the Federation and not just organisations and establishments as contained in the extant act.
“The bill also makes provision for the election of a President to lead the Executive Committee as against the existing law where the governing body of the association is a board appointed from different organisations.
“It further seeks to ensure mandatory systematic development of football through institutional, age and gender competitions.
Also, the bill makes provision for development of coaches and referees to enable them participate in international competitions and would take care of funding, which had been a major problem in the country.