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NFF crisis: Sports Minister calls for caution among football stakeholders, judiciary, law enforcement agencies


ABUJA – Sports Minister Tammy Danagogo has called on all stakeholders, the judiciary and the country’s law enforcement agencies to understand that football matters should not be taken to the ordinary courts.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Patrick Omorodion, on Saturday in Abuja, Danagogo said the Court of Arbitration in Sports (CAS) was the right place to go.

“CAS is the place to go, in order to avoid threats or outright ban of the country by FIFA,’’ it had quoted the minister as saying in Windhoek, Namibia where he had gone to deliver President Goodluck Jonathan’s goodwill message to the Super Falcons.

Danagogo was also there to cheer the national senior women’s football team against Cameroon in the 2014 African Women Championship (AWC) final.

The statement said the Sports Minister’s call was against the background of having to negotiate with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to allow the Falcons play in the final match.

It said the Falcons were almost stopped from playing following the Jos court ruling of Oct. 23 which set aside the Sept. 30 elections of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

NAN reports that the elections had brought in the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board.

But the court had acted on the basis of what it deemed as contempt of its directive after it had on Sept. 19 asked the NFF not to hold the elections.

The NFF Congress faction which elected the Chris Giwa-led board on Aug. 26 had asked the court to stop the Aminu Maigari-led faction from conducting another election.

The Federal High Court in Jos presided over by Justice Ambrose Alagoa had then asked the NFF to stay action until it had ruled on the case before it.

“We have just succeeded in negotiating with CAF not to stop the Falcons from playing the final match,’’ Danagogo was quoted as saying, and adding that the decision to ban Nigeria had now been shifted to Monday.

“All football stakeholders, the judiciary and our law enforcement agencies should understand that each time they take football matters to the ordinary courts, instead of CAS, Nigeria stands the risk of being banned from all football activities.

“They should understand the reality of this, if we want to continue to be part of playing football under FIFA.

“FIFA has now shifted the decision to ban Nigeria to Monday and if nothing is done to resolve this court issue, we risk being banned,” the statement further quoted the Sports Minister as saying.(NAN)

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