The proposed debate amongst candidates seeking to be elected as the new president of the Nigeria Football Federation has been postponed indefinitely.
The debate, tagged ‘Change the Game’, which is a collaboration between PREMIUM TIMES and The Scores, was originally scheduled for Friday, 23 September in Lagos.
However, a series of late withdrawals by candidates who had initially given their words to be part of the novel project necessitated the need for a postponement.
“The proposed NFF Presidential debate scheduled for Friday, September 23, 2022, has been postponed due to last-minute withdrawals by aspirants and circumstances beyond the organisers’ control,” a joint statement issued by PREMIUM TIMES and The Scores on Thursday read in part.
“Some aspirants cited a “current court injunction,” while others cited a conflicting debate being organised by the Abuja branch of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), despite having previously committed to the Lagos event.”
Still determined to chart a new course for the leadership of football in Nigeria, the organisers are hopeful a new date can be fixed, especially with the uncertainties around the 30 September date earlier announced for the NFF Elective Congress.
“Despite the ambiguity of the NFF elections scheduled for September 30, 2022, in Benin City, a new date for the debate is being proposed.” Thursday’s statement added.
The organisers, having committed resources and time to the event, said it was a painful choice to postpone the event as the majority of those scheduled to take part have suddenly developed cold feet.
“It had to be postponed because it could not proceed without the presence of a great number of aspirants.” the statement concluded.
The NFF Electoral Committee cleared 11 aspirants for the presidential position, including three members from the outgoing board, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, Shehu Dikko and Abiodun Oluseyi Akinwumi.
The other candidates jostling to replace Amaju Pinnick in the coming days are Christian Emeruwa, Amanze Uchegbulam, Peterside Idah, Abba Abdullahi Yola, Musa Amadu, David-Buhari Doherty, Adam Mouktar Mohammed, and Suleiman Y. Kwande.