Sports

NNL Chairman, Aluo, Celebrates Birthday, Canvasses Community Ownership Of Clubs

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Chairman of Nigeria National League (NNL), George Aluo, has expressed appreciation to God for adding another year to his age, saying that he is a fulfilled man considering his achievements in both his chosen journalism profession and as a sports administrator.

He also called for community ownership of football clubs.

Aluo in his mid 50's will be a year older on Friday, April 12, 2024 and said he is humbled by the blessings of God on his life and will continue to serve him as a devout Christian of the Catholic Faith.

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Speaking on his birthday, he said, “I'm a destiny child born on the day a bomb exploded in my village market square, Umuohiagu, Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State during the Nigeria/ Biafra civil war killing over 300 people, including goats, sheep, cattle and fowls and even flies were not exempted.

“On that day, according to my mother's account, it was not up to 15-20 minutes she left that place with my umbilical cord because there was no operational hospital then; carrying my elder sister on her back and my elder brother on her head in a basin that the bomb exploded and so I must thank God and continue to glorify his name for attaining my new age in good health and sound mind.”

Aluo jokingly pointed out that he has no picture of himself as a baby to show his kids as, according to his parents, nobody was talking about photographs amid Nigeria/Biafra war since the only thing that mattered then was survival.

The NNL boss, who expressed satisfaction with the successes recorded by the country's second tier league since he took over, advocated government hands off running football club sides, arguing that clubs will be better managed by private individuals and communities as it is done in other climes.

“It's unfortunate that governments are still managing professional club sides in this country, and our football can never grow with government ownership of clubs. All we need to do and encourage is to have community based clubs and private ownership of club sides, and things will begin to change.

“When you look at Remo Stars that's privately owned, you will discover that the club is well managed without government's subvention. Even at the NNL, Sporting Supreme flies their players to match venues, and yet it's owned by an individual. So, we must discourage government involvement in our football.”

The NNL boss while appreciating the Chairman of NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau, for the opportunity given to him to serve, identified paucity of funds as the greatest challenge facing his board just as he appealed to corporate organisations to take interest in NNL to make the country's lower league stronger and attractive.

“I must continue to express my appreciation to Alhaji Gusau for finding me worthy to serve as NNL chairman and a board member of the NFF.

“My appeal is that corporate organizations should come to our aid and do what GTI is doing for the NPFL. We're not saying they should give us money to put in our pockets, let them take care of referees indemnity and once this is done, the referees will not be intimidated but rather be at their best and it will now be possible for teams to be winning on the road as is presently being witnessed in the NNL.”

 


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