By John Egbokhan
1980 Africa Cup of Nations winner Adokye Amiesimaka has faulted FIFA’s suspension of Nigeria from all football-related activities.
Reacting to the suspension slapped on Nigeria because of gov-ernment interference, Amesimaka, who was called to the bar 35 years ago, said the Aminu Maigari-led NFF board was duly removed by the Congress of the NFF, which according to him, was in tandem with the statutes of FIFA.
“Was it not reported by the press that Congress of the body dissolved it in accordance with FIFA Approved statutes?
“Wasn’t it how Maigari himself pulled the rug from under Lulu’s feet in 2010, and how Lulu too betrayed Galadima in 2006?
“Why is Maigari now running from pillar to post and seeking for FIFA’s protection? I don’t know whether FIFA had heard from congress before if made that statement”, said Adokiye, who added that it was not in the place of FIFA to query due obedience to a court order by the Nigerian government.
“Regarding the earlier reported court order, FIFA can’t query due obedience of and compliance with an order of a court of law.
After all, FIFA itself is subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, which is itself subject to the jurisdiction of the Swiss judicial system even on sport-related matters, especially on public policy, fair hearing, and Jurisdiction.
Arguably that order of court can’t be said to be ‘government interference’ on account of supremacy of the constitution, separation of powers, and rule of law!
Adokiye praised the Minister of Sports, Dr. Tamuno Danagogo for the role he has played in the issue.
“This sport minister’s respect for rule of law is exemplary and commendable. But as I slated earlier, congress had appropriately stepped in thereafter. Government can and should demand that public funds be accounted for, otherwise the football governing body should desist from requesting for such funds.
On no account should Nigeria succumb to blackmail from any source. “If FIFA disregards lawful action and insists on suspension, so be it. As I pointed out in 2010, it could even be the needed stimulus to compel overdue restructuring of our football beginning with concluding action on setting up of CAS in Nigeria”, added Amiesimaka.