Minister promises to resolve issues pending in club owners/NFF impasse




ABUJA – The Minister of Sports, Tammy Danagogo, on Tuesday in Abuja promised to intervene and resolve pending issues between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Premier League Club Owners Association.

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Danagogo made the promise when the association’s 20 members paid him a courtesy call to discuss the ongoing crisis in Nigerian football vis-a-vis NFA’s recent suspension by FIFA.

The minister said there was the need for both parties to embrace dialogue, adding that football could only move forward when they both have a harmonious relationship.

“I am aware of these issues and, at several times, I have tried to sort them out personally, because I believe the way to settle disagreement is to discuss privately.

“I am advising you that you should always seek avenue for peaceful and private dialogue, rather than make accusations and counter-accusations in the media.

“But, I assure you that I will look into the issues and they will be addressed. I will do my utmost to separate personal or private interests in settling them.

“The interests of Nigeria and football will be first, to achieve peace and progress, because if there is no harmonious relationship between both parties, football cannot thrive in Nigeria,’’ he said.

Danagogo, who is also the Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), said it was important for the issues to be resolved as the clubs have produced ex-internationals.

“Although, the government has a lot to do in grooming some of the players who are in the different clubsides to move into the national teams, but the club owners too have a major role to play.

“With this, we have what it takes to surpass our present position in the world. But we also need a good management of what we have, and that is the players. [eap_ad_1] “We need to develop and harness them to achieve what we hope to achieve. So, the issues must be resolved before we can take our football to the next level,’’ the NSC Chairman said.

Earlier in his speech, the association’s Acting Chairman, Isaac Danladi, said the visit was for the association to suggest ways of ensuring Nigerian football problems were resolved once and for all.

“I thank you for the leadership roles, intervention and contributions towards ensuring that the FIFA suspension was lifted.

“But we have observed that the genesis of the crisis rocking Nigerian football is the inability to strongly adhere, follow and protect the statutes which is recognised by FIFA.

“And the statutes are the approved rule book for the general administration and management of football across the world.

“This lack of respect for the statues for political and selfish reasons have caused distrust among stakeholders, leading to several litigations in conventional courts, and FIFA frowns at this,’’ Danladi said.

The club owners’ acting chairman however pleaded with the minister to charge stakeholders to abide by the provisions of the statutes of football as outlined by FIFA.

“On behalf of the club owners, I seek your intervention in helping to task all stakeholders to abide by the provisions of the statutes of football as sanctioned by FIFA.

“Also, we want the FIFA standard electoral code to be adhered strictly to in the general conduct of elections into the various boards of the federation and affiliated leagues,’’ he said.

Danladi however outlined four issues which, according to him, are “important and needed to be addressed urgently’’.

“The present NFF board as it is today is not properly constituted as there is no Second Vice-President.

“Secondly, the premier league board is completely absent. Rather, a privately-owned company is managing our league, which is contrary to the provisions of FIFA and NFF statues.

“Clubs have not been allowed to set up their own electoral committee to elect the league board and manage the league as allowed in the FIFA standard electoral code and the statutes.

“And lastly, clubs have been disenfranchised from voting in the federation elections and congress decisions,’’ he said.(NAN)[eap_ad_4]

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