By Francis Ajuonuma, Lagos
President-General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC), Dr. Rafiu Ladipo and the national chairman, Reverend Sam Ikpea have urged that the authorities in charge of sports in the country to do more to revive the dwindling state of sports in the country.
Both Dr. Ladipo and Rev. Ikpea threw the challenge, while reviving Nigerian sports at the 59th year anniversary of the country independence celebrated on October 1, 2019.
Members of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club celebrated the independence with a 7-aside novelty match which was played at the Legacy Pitch of the National Stadium, Lagos between the executive members and non executive members.
Dr. Ladipo, who was the first to speak with The Authority after the novelty match in which he was the centre referee, observed that Nigerian sports have suffered setbacks in recent years, noting that Nigeria deserve to be among the top 10 sporting nations of the world and not where it is at present.
According to him, Nigerian football and sports in general enjoyed a good time in the 80s and 90s but thereafter, went down which he linked to poor administration.
“Nigeria sports @ 59, I want to say that we need to do much more for us to be one of the best 10 footballing nations and sporting nations of the world. Our years of glory was in 1980, 1994, 1996 and 1998 for the senior ones. For the junior ones and the rest was 1983, 1985 and 1989.
“Unfortunately, today all those things are no long there. So we’re using these opportunity to appeal to the authorities that oversee football and sports in general that we want our football and sports to grow,” he said.
Rev. Ikpea in his own reaction, said: From my own perspective, as far as sports is concerned in Nigeria in the last 59 years, I’ll want to rate it 70 percent. In the next one year year I’ll want to see Nigeria sports move to the next level. You know as Nigerians we love sports, and everyone will want to give everything when it come to sports. So I want to challenge the government to invest more in our sports to enable the country move to a higher level in sports”.