Sports Ministry assures of resolution to NFF dispute

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The Nigeria Sports Commission has assured all that it is working to find prompt resolution to the problems in the Nigeria Football Federation which led to its suspension by Fifa on July 9.

In a statement from the NSC on Tuesday, it said that plans are being made to reconcile the differences in the NFF.

Find the statement reproduced below:

“Following the order of the Jos High Court against the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the threat of FIFA to suspend Nigeria and the outcome of the fact-finding team sent to interface with FIFA, the Honourable Minister has called on Chief [Victor Rumson] Baribote and the two rivaling factions of the NFF to do the needful to ensure that FIFA does not suspend Nigeria.

“We want to assure the plaintiffs in court, the aggrieved faction in the NFF and the general public that government will stop at nothing to ensure that Nigeria is not suspended, the NFF is thoroughly sanitized and the complaints of unbridled corruption and highhandedness by the NFF leadership is addressed timeously.

“In furtherance of that, we shall immediately set in motion machinery to:

1. To ensure that the parties are persuaded to withdraw the case and suspension is lifted

2. Encourage the Nigeria Olympic Committee to quickly activate the Court of Arbitration in Sports (CAS). This is necessary because the unending circle of disputes, court cases and FIFA suspension threats is caused by the fact that aggrieved parties in the NFF have no where to resort to for redress. FIFA has said that they do not countenance with our national and municipal courts and there is no active Court of Arbitration in Sports. This leaves aggrieved parties at the mercy of the NFF leadership who are the complainants, judge and jury against any member of the NFF who complains against any form of corruption and highhandedness and as such, in often cases, are visited with bans and other forms of punishment contrary to the dictates of fair hearing ad justice.

3. In view of the fact that FIFA also agrees that they abhor corruption, we shall employ every machinery of government to ensure that all the allegations of unbridled corruption over the years is thoroughly looked into and culprits brought to book

4. We want to assure Nigerians that the sole motive of government is to promote the game of football and ensure that sanity prevails in the management of government resources deployed for the promotion of Sports. We believe that at the end of the day, our sports in general and the game of football in particular will come out better and stronger.

We therefore thank the Nigerian populace, the media, the football stakeholders and indeed, the teeming sports lovers for their support and patience while this dispute persists.”

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