BY OKEY NDIRIBE
ABUJA- A freshround of crisis which may pitch the Nigerian Football Federation ( NFF) against football players in the country looms as the zonal coordinators of NFF Friday urged the Board to withdraw from the Ministerial Committee on the Reform of Football in Nigeria.
The NFF zonal coordinators took the decision over the allegation of the President of the National Association of Nigerian Footballers(NANF) Mr Harrison Jala that the Board forged a letter from the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA). FIFA later denied the allegation.
The resolution of the NFF zonal chairmen was disclosed in a press conference addressed in Abuja by Mr Chidi Okennwa who is the Chairman of the Enugu State Football Association. It was learnt that Jala’s allegation had resulted in some members of the NFF Board being invited for a seven hour interrogation by the Nigeria Police Force in Abuja.
According to the Chairmen of the six zones of NFF in the country: “ Zonal coordinators of the six geo-political zones of the Nigeria Football Federation rose from their meeting held at the Chida Hotel, Abuja on Friday and advised ‘the NFF to withdraw from further participation with immediate effect, from the activities and resolutions of the Ministerial Committee on the Reform of Football in Nigeria in the interest of association football, as the contending party in the committee has breached the terms and spirit of the agreement reached with the Honourable Minister and Chairman, National Sports Commission”.
The Minister of Sports Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman had set up the Nigerian Football Reform Committee with former Nigeria Football Association ( NFA) Chairman, Brigadier General Dominic Oneya (rtd.) as Chairman. The Committee which is composed of representatives from both the NFF and the Jaret Tenebe led NFA was set up by the Minister in a bid to resolve the disputes within the nation’s football house.
With this declaration by the zonal coordinators of the NFF, the sole representative of the Federation, Barrister Christopher Green may be withdrawn from the Football Reform Committee which has the support of the National Sports Commission (NSC) .
Other resolutions reached at the meeting included a decision to organise a seminar for the FA Chairmen of the 37 states and FCT to appreciate their duties and functions and that of the Local football councils . The Chairman of State FA Chairmen, Effiong Johnson was mandated to organize the seminar alongside the NFF.
The zonal chairmen also agreed that “as a matter of urgency, the Youth Development Committee of the NFF and the state FAs should work together towards development of youth football which is the key to ensuring frequent and adequate supply of talented footballers for the various categories of the national teams.
They also appealed to all Nigerians to support the newly appointed Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi.
They passed a vote of explicit confidence on the Aminu Maigari led NFF Executive Committee.