*Appeals to Osinbajo to sign NFF Bill into law
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba, has declared that it would be a disaster if the nation incurs the wrath of world soccer governing body, FIFA, on account of the legal battles the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is facing in civil courts.
Ogba who spoke yesterday in Abuja said the only way the nation can be saved once and for all from the incessant FIFA threats is for the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, to as a matter of urgency sign the NFF Bill into law.
â€œMy appeal is for the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo to sign the NFF bill into law. Once that bill is signed into law, it would save us a lot of trouble. There is a provision in the bill for those in ordinary courts now to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to seek redress. FIFA frowns at people taking sports matters to civil courts. We freely signed to be a member of FIFA and genuine stakeholders should learn to respect FIFA rules in the interest of the country.â€
He warned stakeholders in Nigerian football not to drag the country into situations like what Sudan is facing at the moment.
â€œWe canâ€™t afford to go the way of Sudan that has just been hammered by FIFA. Sudanâ€™s World Cup 2018 hopes have been frittered away, just like that of their clubs in continental football.
â€œNigeria is too big to go the way of Sudan and given the role football play in bonding the country together, it is not a sector we should toy with.
â€œFootball is the first love of every Nigerian. The game brings us together as a people and I know even those that run our judiciary know that much and would put the nationâ€™s interest first even when stakeholders carry their fight to them,â€ stressed the former NFF board member.
â€œJust last week, FIFA banned Sudan from all football activities following alleged government interference in the running of the countryâ€™s football. The same fate may befall Nigeria if the renewed court battle over the leadership of Nigerian football is allowed to affect the administration of the game in the country,â€ Senator Ogba warned.
Penultimate Monday, the nationâ€™s apex court, the Supreme Court gave the NFF led by Amaju Pinnick and claimant to the post, Chris Giwa, notice to await further directives on when it would deliver judgment on the suit between both parties.