Electoral chair vows free, fair FCT FA poll

…Feb 11 is D-day

By Niyi Busari

Federal Capital Territory Football Association (FCT FA) Electoral Committee Chairman, Victor Ijeremen on Friday vowed that his committee will conduct a free and fair election on February 11 this year devoid of any crisis.

 Ijeremen who spoke to newsmen at the FCT Sports Department in Abuja during the screening of contestants for the poll, opined that his committee will ensure that only credible candidates will be allowed to participate in the election.

 He said: “We are working hard on the candidates and by Tuesday next (this) week, we should come out with all the reports. We are going to the tax office to confirm their taxes; if any candidate defaults in their tax, they will not be allowed to take part in the election. Also, their certificates will be properly screened.

“The co-operation from candidates is impressive. We don’t have any problems as regards any candidates for now and we are ready for the election.

“February 11 has being scheduled for the election. I can assure FCT residents that the election will be free and fair and the press will be there to judge the credibility.

“We have three candidates contesting for chairman, while four candidates vie for vice chairman and 12 for other board member positions.”

The electoral body boss added that football matters can ot be taken to court, adding that the various contestants have passed a vote of confidence on his committee.

Ijeremen stated: “We gave them letters, that they cannot take football matters to conventional courts as we asked them if they were comfortable with the electoral committee and they all passed their vote of confidence.

“The Area Councils will send their delegates, the coaches’ association and the referees will also send their delegates and whoever is representing the league will come with a letter which will be signed by top officials from the league.”

Meanwhile, one of the contestants into the FCT FA board, Mr. Mustapha Mubdiyu, has revealed that development of sporting facilities will be his utmost priority, if elected.

He stated this on Friday after he was screened for the election. According to Mubdiyu, he  will contribute his own quota to the growth and development of football in the Abuja and environs.

The contestant said his reason for vying for office was to see how football will be developed further within and around Abuja.

He said: “There is no major capital city in the world without a premier league club, but fact is, we don’t have one here. Even from the look of things and the way the whole things are structured, we might not have one in the next 15 years.

“So, I am actually coming in to contribute my own quota and see how we can develop other model in achieving this reality.”

On areas that need more improvement in FCT, Mubdiyu said provision of sporting facilities will be the starting point, adding that “we should have all the facilities in the all the Area Councils to develop the grassroots. I will also push for sponsorship. I am not satisfied with level of sports development in FCT. That is why I am vying for board member to contribute my own quota. It’s about passion; it’s about creating enabling environment for people.”

Barcelona spends 533 million euros since Neymar left

With four additions already confirmed this winter, with the latest being a 75 million euro move for Frenkie de Jong as well as 11million euros in add ons, Barcelona have been opening their chequebook.

For the second consecutive January, the Catalans are scraping their pockets to close signings, be they short-term fixes or with the future in sight. In 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16 or 2016/17, Barcelona didn’t spend a single cent to reinforce their squad, with their additions coming in the summers separating those seasons.

Now though, the team’s needs have dictated the activity, leading to the arrivals of Jeison Murillo and Kevin-Prince Boateng. This winter they have parted with 77 million euros, 75million euros of that on De Jong and a million each on Murillo and Prince, while Jean-Clain Todibo will arrive for nothing in the summer.

Last January, the club splashed 131.8million euros, of which the bulk—120million euros—was spent on Philippe Coutinho while Yerry Mina also landed.

It is perhaps no coincidence that their great spending has followed Neymar’s big-money exit and the summer of his departure they spent almost 198million euros on Ousmane Dembele and Paulinho whose moves, combined with the following winter’s, accumulate to around 329million euros.

The summer of 2018 saw them spend 128million euros, with the most expensive signing being Malcom at 41 million, to which it has been added another 77million from this window.

Neymar left for 222million euros and the Blaugrana have parted with 533million euros since. This window is not yet over, though, and there are other deals being negotiated, the most outstanding of those is Adrien Rabiot.

As of press time last Friday, there was still a week to go in this market, Director of Football Eric Abidal is still working, and there is a lot that can happen before the calendar turns to February.