By Sharif Abdallah
The name Sharif Rabi’u Inuwa popularly known as “Ahlan” as he is fondly called by all football fraternity in his country home of Kano and across the country by extension without doubt “rings a bell” whenever his is mentioned.
For those of you that are not in touch with activities of the round leather game in Kano, Ahlan has been in the system for over three decades and the more reason why the current serving executive board member of the Nigeria Football Federation who doubles as Refrees Committee Chairman will continue to hold sway in piloting the affairs of football in Kano.
There is no gain in saying Kano is the “Heartbeat” of Nigerian football considering how fanatical the fans are and how football is followed religiously in the state.
The contribution of Ahlan, a passionate football fan, an astute business man both within and outside the shores of Nigeria garnished with his dogged and firm style of administration cannot be overemphasised.
Ahlan rose through the ranks from being a player in the 80s to coaching before delving into administration. As an administrator, Ahlan was once the Kano FA vice chairman before assuming the biggest responsibility of managing football in Kano in 2005.
Lest we forget, Kano State Football Association run it’s affairs without receiving a dime from government or cooperate sponsors coffers yet Kano stand very among all states in the country as the only state organising the state Premier League, Division I, Division II in a proper format and in accordance with international best practices.
At the moment, the state has over 40 teams in the NLO, Nigeria’s third tier league with a landslide numerical advantage more than any state in the country. Over 1, 280 clubs are affiliated to the State Football Association all thanks to his FA led board.
Kano is now duly represented at the centre in every aspect of the game.
Having said all these, it’s obvious Kano State football has witnessed tremendous development under the watch of Sharif Rabi’u Ahlan and without mincing words, his shoes may probably be too big anyone aspiring to be his successor.
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