ABUJA – The Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo, on Tuesday urged all the parties involved in the current crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to withdraw their case from the court.
Danagogo made the appeal in a statement in Abuja by his Special Assistant on Media, Patrick Omorodion, saying this would be in the interest of the game and the country.
“They have to withdraw their case from the court, make peace and resolve their differences,’’ the minister, who is also the Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), said in the statement.
It further quoted Danagogo as saying this was necessary as it was “the only way for a smooth administration of football and to avoid constant confrontation with the sport’s world governing body FIFA’’.
While appealing to the factions to withdraw their case from the court, the statement quoted Danagogo as saying there was “a need for those involved to make sacrifices in the spirit of give-and-take’’.
Danagogo acknowledged that he or the NSC as a body could not stop individuals from going to court nor stop the courts from hearing cases brought before them.
“There is nothing we can do, except to persuade them not to do go to the courts,’’ the minister said in the statement.
Danagogo then called on Nigerians and all sports lovers to prevail on the warring factions to withdraw their case and settle amicably.
“I am calling on Nigerians to prevail on the factions in the NFF crisis to come to a roundtable and discuss the way forward.
“I have met with them and I have told them to make peace by making sacrifices.
“They should withdraw the case they have in court as that is the only way we can avoid the threats of FIFA ban.
“I cannot stop people from going to court nor can I stop the court from hearing cases brought before it.
“What we (the NSC) advise is for matters of this nature to be taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
“It is the right body to hear such cases, so that we avoid the threats of FIFA ban all the time”, the Minister said.
Speaking on the outcome of the meeting with the two factions in the NFF crisis led by Chris Giwa and Amaju Pinnick, Danagogo said there was a ray of hope.
“Both sides resolved to return to their groups to consult and come back to us with their resolutions by Wednesday,’’ the minister said in the statement.(NAN)