NFF Congress Gives Condition for Reconciliation with Giwa, Others


Orders review of Electoral Guidelines

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Thursday at its congress in Benin City, opened a possible window for reconciliation of all aggrieved stakeholders in Nigerian football.

The football body asked the Chris Giwa and his group, with a pending court case to retrace their steps and reconcile with the football family.

The Congress urged all aggrieved parties to within two weeks ensure that they dismissed all pending court cases against NFF and its leadership.

Part of the resolutions reached by the Congress include filing affidavits in court to affirm and uphold the football statutes as well as not taking football matters to civil court but, to resolve any disputes and/or grievances within the available alternative dispute resolutions mechanism enshrined in the football statutes.

Reading a communique issued at the end of the NFF’s Extra Ordinary General Assembly held in Bénin City, Eze Chukwuemeka, said the Congress empowered the NFF Executive Committee to commence the process of removing any penalties on persons that are currently under sanctions for breach of the NFF statutes provided they complied with the resolutions.

The communique warned that any member that takes any football matter to the ordinary courts of law would henceforth be automatically expelled from all football activities with immediate effect from the date of filing such law suit.

It described the suit at the Federal High Court in Jos as an unnecessary distraction for the growth of football in Nigeria and has the potential to get Nigeria suspended from being a member of the global football family, FIFA.

On the issue of Giwa FC that was expelled from the NPFL in 2016, the communique noted that the club was expelled for multiple breaches of the framework and rules of the league and the claim or challenge by Chris Giwa to NFF leadership.

It explained that Giwa FC was never expelled from participating in league football totally but relegated to the lower league as provided in the league rules.

According to the communique, “As part of reconciliation, the Congress has mandated the Executive Committee to, upon application by Giwa FC, immediately permit the registration of Giwa FC to commence participation in the 2018 Nigeria National League.

“All matches are to be rescheduled in the league to accommodate the club and NFF shall provide reasonable support to the clubs in the division to accommodate these additional matches with Giwa FC, which are not captured in their budgets.”

The communique urged the National Assembly to fast-track the conclusion of the NFF Bill which is said would provide the platform that would completely eliminate most of the current challenges being experienced and ensure the sustainable development of football in Nigeria.

“The Congress further noted that the NFF Statutes would consequently be duly amended to conform to the current realities of modern football management and the provisions of the NFF Bill as well as ensure inclusivity and optimization of service delivery at all levels.

“The Executive Committee is endorsed to review the ongoing NFF electoral processes, guidelines and reopen the process for any qualified interested stakeholder to participate, including those that may qualify after meeting the set conditions of taking football matters out of ordinary courts.

“The Congress implored all stakeholders interested in being part of NFF Executive Committee to subject themselves to and come through the legitimate electoral process as outlined in the statutes and, assures all parties of the support of the football family; provided they assume their positions through the legitimate process.”