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Drama in Nigerian Football House


Amaju Pinnick

The drama in the Nigerian Football seems not to be over. The Jos Federal High Court ruling that sacked Amaju Pinnick as the president of the NFF board, and with order to install Chris Giwa as the new president of Nigerian Football Association, has generated lots of reactions, and the biggest of it all is that the Nigerian Football is at the verge of being sanctioned by the world football governing body, FIFA, if immediate resolution is not reached.

Football loving Nigerians are sad at Super Eagles failure to qualify for two consecutive African Cup of Nations cup, and every finger points at embattled Amaju Pinnick for his poor handling of Nigerian football.

Since the time of Aminu Maigari as the NFF boss, too many sad tales have engulfed Nigerian football and just recently, Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2017 AFCON. But, the sports minister, Solomon Dalung, meeting with Pinnick’s NFF board with Chris Giwa seems to have reignited the feud between the parties.

Just before the meeting, a vote of confidence was passed on Pinnick to continue as the president.

Few hours after the meeting with the sports minister, another drama unfolded; a Jos Federal High Court sacked same board that was passed a vote of confidence.

Nigerian football seems to be going back and forth since 2014, when Pinnick emerged as NFF president.

The sports minister, they say, is now the minister of football. Making matters worst in his statement on the issues, Dalung said Pinnick had the right to appeal the ruling with the stipulated 21 working days,  but urged both warring factions to obey the rule of law and maintain order by putting aside personal interest for the growth of the game in the country.

“This current administration believes in the rule of law, and all of our actions must be guided by the provisions of the law,” Dalung said.

“Therefore, anything that suggests the contrary will not be in the interest of the nation.  The decision of the court will only take effect if the right to appeal expires and the Amaju-led board fails to exercise its right.

“It will be out of place for any group of persons who have enjoyed the protection of the law by going to court to exercise their rights to now turn round and want to deny the other party of their own right.

“The announcement of the dissolution of standing committees and appointments by the Giwa led executive, even when the Amaju-led board has indicated their right of appeal, cannot promote stability in football.

Chris Giwa

Chris Giwa

“I am therefore calling on all parties to the dispute to maintain peace and respect the rule of law. By this token, the judicial process must be allowed to run its full course, unless and until any of the parties wishes the contrary,” he said.

Following the court ruling installing Giwa as NFF president, the question is: what is the legality of Giwa to seat as the president of Nigerian Football Association?

The effect of these is very obvious in Nigerian football, Nigeria, rated as one of the biggest football country in Africa missing out in Africa’s biggest football event for two editions, is a very devastating effect on the game.

Not making case for Pinnick, the board of Amaju Pinnick is recognised by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), Confederation of African Football (CAF), Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), and West Affrican Football Union.

Giwa earlier petitioned his case at CAS, but a recognise body that handles football conflicts globally threw out his case.

FIFA frowns at government interference in football, which Nigeria is an active member country.

Well, we will see how this NFF drama ends.

At the court ruling in Jos that affirmed Giwa as NFF president, no FIFA, CAF, WAFU and CAS representatives were present, and till date, FIFA, CAF, CAS, WAFU are yet to issue a statement confirming Giwa as the substantial president of the Nigerian Football Association. How then will Giwa function as president without the endorsement of all these bodies mentioned?

Truth be told, no football stakeholder will dignified the court ruling in Jos. Nigerian football is bigger than any individual.

The sports minister as a matter of urgency should step into the issues and do all he can to resolve it in the interest of Nigerian football, else, FIFA ban awaits Nigerian football.


Anthony Nlebem


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This post was syndicated from BusinessDay : News you can trust. Click here to read the full text on the original website.


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