The Minister of Sports and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Dr Tammy Danagogo has called for an immediate and unambiguous resolution of the crisis threatening to tear the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) apart.
Danagogo at a meeting with top officials of the NFF and the faction led by Ambassador Chris Giwa specifically charged that the court injunction brought by the Giwa faction should immediately be withdrawn to save Nigeria from impending seven-month Fifa suspension.
World football’s governing body Fifa in a letter dated Tuesday, 28 October, warned Nigeria will be handed automatic suspension until its next congress slated for May 2015, if a court ruling which void the recent elections into the Executive Committee of the NFF is not overturned before midday Friday, 31 October.
Danagogo stressed that football “matters are serious” in the country and as such, should be addressed in the interest of the country.
The Minister said: “I am not interested in who is the NFF President, I am concerned with the interest of our country and the fact that football is such a serious matter for us and a ban from international football will be a disaster.
“I can assure you all that the Federal Government will not take kindly to any individual or group that contribute to an unfortunate situation of Nigeria getting banned from international football.”
Danagogo also confirmed holding a meeting with President of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Alhaji (Dr) Issa Hayatou in Windhoek on Saturday, where the Caf chief told him in no uncertain terms that Fifa and Caf have had it up to their neck with Nigeria.
“Dr. Hayatou told me Nigeria could actually have been stopped from playing the final of the African Women Championship in Namibia on Saturday, but he had to plead with FIFA to stop its Emergency Committee from taking immediate action,” he revealed.
“He also explained that such an occurrence would have handed the trophy automatically to Cameroon, and people would have thought that being a Cameroonian, he instigated such to favour his country.
“The CAF President was really unhappy with us. He brought out documents which constitute the protocols that every country wishing to be in the international football family had to sign, and which Nigeria signed. Part of these is the fact that disputes in football have to be taken to arbitration, and not civil courts.”
All parties involved in the NFF- Jos Federal High Court saga were ordered to reconvene at the Sports Minister’s office on Wednesday afternoon to report back on their resolutions.