Ahmed Musa is no ordinary Nigerian , apart from been a brilliant footballer he is the captain of the National team of Nigeria. With nearly a hundred cap for the Super Eagles he is force to be reckoned as far as football is concerned in the country.
Musa became the first Nigerian to score more than once in a FIFA World Cup match, after scoring twice against Argentina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.Musa is also the first Nigerian to score in two FIFA World Cup competitions, after scoring twice against Iceland in the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Musa was a member of the Al Nassr squad that won the Saudi Premier League and Saudi Super Cup, both in 2019. So, when a player of Musa’s calibre decides to play in the local league , he should be celebrated and acknowledged.
The positive dimensions of such a development must be fully exploited . Unfortunately, this was shoddily managed when he recently signed for Kano Pillars. . His unveiling was described as an eye sore by one national newspaper while another called the affair drab. While acknowledging the COVID 19 challenge, a well-packaged hybrid unveiling could have been organized to celebrate this Super Star.
According to one of the newspapers Musa was unveiled twice by the club chairman Surajo Jambul and the governor of the state, Umar Ganduje. First Musa was unveiled in a badly lit room at the club office by Jambul, with no fanfare and media representation. The unveiling in other clime is a media affair in our case there was no media present ! He was also unveiled by Governor Ganduje at the State House last Friday, but pictures and news of the event were not published on Musa’s verified accounts on Twitter and Instagram. With media absent, opportunities for juicy question and answer session that would have led to other news development was lost !
Former Gombe State FA boss Gara Gombe said Musa’s unveiling showed Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs lacked the culture of branding. Former media officer of the U-23 team Shariff Abdallah added, “It’s pathetic. But what else can you do about a situation when your hands are tight. You just can’t remedy the situation.” “This is a classic case of how not to unveil a player, especially a top player like the national team captain,” Enitan Obadina, a journalist, said.“Everything around the whole exercise was quite shameful. I hear they (Pillars) are planning another unveiling ceremony after all the backlash. It is better they do that to redeem whatever is left of their pride.”
We must realise that football is big business and should be treated as such. The unveiling of Ahmed Musa should have been handed over to Sports Marketers to handle and to earn all possible mileage for Kano Pillars and the Nigerian Professional Football League. It was reported that Real Madrid earned millions during the unveiling of David Beckham in July 2003. His team shirt number 23 was required to get into the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and the club was reported to have raked in nearly have of the GBP25 million paid to Manchester United for the services of the player. The shirt was handed to him by one of the former great players of the club Alfredo Di Stefano who made the club a respect force in football in the 1950s and 1960s. So let’s image Baba Otu Mohammed for instance handing Musa a shirt that would have brought millions to the Sanni Abacha Stadium instead Umar Ganduje !
To remedy our pathetic showing a third unveiling exercise is in the works. I am of the opinion that we have bungled this opportunity, we should move on but should never forget Sports is business and should be seen and treated as such . We hope stakeholders have learnt a thing or two from this exercise and do a better job in the future. Feel free to share your thoughts on my piece with me via the email address below.
Michael Umogun is the Deputy Registrar (Operations) Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) firstname.lastname@example.org