AITEO Threatens to Quit Nigeria Football

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  • ​Gives NFF 14-day ultimatum to resolve NFF leadership crisis

Femi Solaja

Oil giant, AITEO, wednesday handed down a two-week ultimatum for the leadership crisis rocking Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) be resolved, otherwise it would withdraw all its deals with the Glass House.

The major sponsor of Nigeria football made this known wednesday in a statement signed by AITEO’s Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Ndiana Matthew.

The statement read: “The persisting situation makes it difficult for us, as a law-abiding entity, to operate responsibly within the demands placed on us.

“Accordingly, we are constrained to indicate that unless these issues are resolved satisfactorily in the manner dictated by the requirements of the world governing body FIFA within fourteen (14) days hereof, we will deem ourselves compelled to reconsider our position with respect to participation in the various arrangements in which we are involved.”

The oil and gas company who called on well-meaning Nigerians to intervene in the Glass House crisis also advised that this should be done on time as the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers are just around the corner.

“AITEO lends its voice to that of many well-meaning Nigerians to call for the quick and decisive resolution of the current issues especially as future campaigns for glory in the African Nations Cup are imminent.

“Indisputably, certainty and stability with the leadership of the NFF remain pertinent to sponsors like us to continue to commit to the growth of Nigerian football in the manner that we have done,” the statement stressed.

AITEO has been sponsoring the Nigeria football since April 2017 and it played major role for Nigeria at the just concluded 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Apart from the N2.5billion partnership with the NFF that takes care of the salaries and allowances of all the national teams coaches, AITEO is also the sponsor of Nigeria’s oldest competition, the Federation Cup (formerly the Challenge Cup or FA Cup). For several years the competition had no sponsor which devalued its quality.

AITEO also offered $50,000 bonus for every un-replied goal scored by Super Eagles in Russia as a way to motivate the team.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, has refuted claims circulating on various WhatsApp platforms in the country that the crisis rocking Nigeria football administration has been amicably settled.
Yesterday, there were speculations on the various platforms that the Presidency ‘has ordered the Chief Justice of the Federation to vacate all court cases (relating to the NFF)’.

In a WhatsApp message sent to www.sportsvillagesquare.com, the minister responds thus: “Following recent post on different social media platforms that the Presidency has ordered the Chief Justice of the Federation to vacate all courts cases, I want to state as follow: President Muhammadu Buhari has travelled since Sunday and as at the time of filling this report he has not returned.

“Also, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami is not in the country while I, the Minister of Youth and Sports is in Algiers for the African Youth Games.

“In this light, the general public should not believe the unfounded stories which are expected to fly around particularly in a time like this,” observed the message from Dalung.