Honourable Sunday Longbap is the Plateau State Football Association Chairman and a high profile congress member of the Nigeria Football Federation.
Longbap is a third term Chairman of the Plateau State Football Association, which invariably implies that he is spending 12 years at the helms of affairs in the state football, little wonders why football in Plateau has nose dived in these past years since the assumed “Honourable” took the leadership of position at the football house in the state.
It’s a truism that in the past, Plateau state was a force to reckon with in the development of grassroot Footballers that have won laurels for the state and country in general. But, since his assumption, minus Plateau United which is been sponsored by the State government, nothing tangible can be ascribed to the administration of Longbap in Plateau state football.
His ‘dishonorable’ approach to grassroots football development was recently displayed in the ongoing NLO Division 2 League holding across 16 Centres in the country. The NLO had on 16 May released a circular informing all participating teams of the venues of the tournament and promotion match venues. This was weeks before the commencement of the League.
One of the teams from Jos, Maichibi United FC played their Zonal matches at the Federal University of Technology, Lafia with Promotion Match Venue in Gwagwalada, Abuja. The team came out tops at their venue, and proceeded to Gwagwalada to play their promotional match with the champions of Venue 1A which eventually happened to be Like-Minds FC of Gwagwalada Abuja.
On the match day, both teams attended the pre-match meeting with no rancors whatsoever. They both agreed to the arrival time and adhered to it. At the appointed time, the teams filed out for the normal football formalities, only for the “assumed powerful congress man of NFF” to put a call across instructing the Jos based team to walk out of the match venue, without any cogent reason.
He never considered the efforts that had been put into organizing the match. He never considered the dignitaries that had been invited to the match. He never considered the moral of the grassroot players that are being molded through such tournament. He never considered the interest of the grassroots football followers who had lost hope in Nigeria Football.
The only ascribed reason is that the team cannot play a match against a team that is based in the same venue. A myopic and archaic reasoning that holds no water in the game of football. In the same league, many teams qualified from their centers, and came to play in their states.
Some won, others lost, and life continues. Because, Sunday Longbap is a crude administrator who believes in win at all cost syndrome, and does not believe in anything fair play. He thought that his ways are also other people’s way. No wonder, an Igbo adage says that he who kills, hardly allow a man with a cutlass to pass through his back. Shame!!
Sunday Longbap believed he is powerful, and decided to kill the game at grassroots level. Many have continued to wonder why Nigeria Football will make a Head way with the like of “Dishonorable” Sunday Longbap at the helms of affair. Sorry to Plateau State Football.
This piece is written by Patrick Ngwaogu