NFF Crisis: Minister Must Denounce Giwa To Avoid FIFA Sanction – Tijani

NFFA veteran Nigerian Sports Journalist, Kayode Tijani, has frowned at the manner in which the crisis in the Nigerian Football Federation is being handled.

Tijani spoke on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily via the telephone from Abuja, to share his views on the goings on in Nigerian football administration.

He stated that the only way for Nigeria to avoid heavy sanctions was for the Sports Minister to denounce the factional NFF President, Chris Giwa, and put security at the Federation Secretariat latest by 8AM on Monday, September 8 “to let the Maigari faction take over”.

He explained that even if the Government was the major financier of the NFF, it still has to abide by the recommendations of world football governing body, FIFA, who is threatening heavy sanctions over the matter.

He refused to condemn the decision to unseat embattled NFF President, Aminu Maigari, but asked that things be done properly without attracting sanctions that would damage the image of the country and the entire sport sector.

As recommended by FIFA, there must be a congress chaired by Aminu Maigari, whom they recognize as the NFF President, for their to be any change in leadership.

Nigerians have suggested that Government taking its hands off football matters could reduce the regular crisis in the organisation and Tijani said that although it would take a while for things to stabilize, the move might be productive in the end.

He cited the League Management Committee as an example of the kind of independence that could be good for the NFF.

On the insistence of factional President of the NFF, Chris Giwa that only the Court of Arbitration for Sports could ask him to vacate the office, Tijani said, “If he wants that there is no problem but first of all resign or remove yourself from there.

You can’t be staying in there and saying you want the Court of Arbitration panel. Its not even in his power. There is supposed to be a congress.”

Tijani blamed greed for the crisis, as everyone was “rushing there because of the cash the Government is bringing”. To him, there is no other basis for anyone to put personal interest ahead of the risk of Nigeria being banned by FIFA.

He warned of the possibility of all potential corporate sponsors of Nigerian football withdrawing their support of the game as they would not want to be associated with controversies.

The man, fondly referred to as the ‘Sport Encyclopedia’, believes that the impact of this on the Super Eagles’ performances would definitely be negative.

He also frowned at the practice of some media practitioners who have decided to take sides in the matter. He urged them to learn from Channels Television who have reported the crisis without bias, as this was the only way to help Nigeria move forward.

NPL Interim Management Inaugurated, Baribote Heads To Court

The controversy plaguing the board of the Nigerian Premier League has been laid to rest, at least for now as a new 13-man interim management of the league was inaugurated yesterday.

The management will be responsible for the running of the affairs of the NPL, pending the election of a new board.

Corruption charges were brought against the head of the previous board; Rumson Victor Baribote as he was accused of misappropriation of funds and a lack of transparency and accountability which was held to blame for the failure of the NPL to attract sponsorship.

How the legal practitioner has decided to take his case to the Federal High Court despite his removal.

The committee will be headed by former member of the House of Representatives, Nduka Irabor and includes Nwankwo Kanu; NPL Secretary-General, Tunji Babalola; Mike Enahoro; Shehu Dikko; Modele Sarafa-Yusuf; Abubakar Nuhu Dan Buran; Kunle Elebute; Mike Idoko; former Secretary-General of the NPL Salisu Abubakar; chairman of Kaduna United FC Sabo Babayaro; chairman of Lagos State Football Association Seyi Akinwunmi and Ifeanyi Dike.

The new committee has been charged with organising the 2012/2013 season, which does not yet have an agreed start date, with reviewing all NPL contracts, with dealing with TV and sponsorship rights, developing strategy, reforming the League to achieve profitability and reviewing procedures for elections to the NPL board. It will also develop new standards for players contracts.