By John Egbokhan
Top Executive Committee members of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) yesterday, said that they were ready to sacrifice their re-election ambitions for the sake of progress of the Nigerian football.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a top member of the Executive Committee, who said that Nigeria wouldÂ miss out from playing at the 2014 World Cup holding in Brazil, following the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to withdraw all national teams from participating in FIFA competitions, for the next two years, said that the forthcoming NFA election was not a do-or-die thing for the present Executive Committee members.
â€œFIFA would slap at a least a five-year ban on Nigeria for withdrawing from its teams from competitions, like the FIFA Under-20 Womenâ€™s Championship holding later in the year in Germany. Nigeriaâ€™s Falconets have qualified to play in the competition.
â€œThe qualifying process for the 2012 and 2013 African Cup of Nations kicking off in September, would throw up Africaâ€™s five representatives for the next World Cup. So the Eagles, if theÂ Nigerian governmentâ€™s position stands, will not play in the competition holding in Brazil.
â€œAlso, all Nigerian clubs, will not play in continental competitions like the CAF Champions League and Confed Cup.
It is more far-reaching that the government thinks because we stand to be grounded for at least five years, as FIFAâ€™s in its rules guiding competitions, stated that any member country that withdraws its team from an already qualified competition, would face a possible five year ban from all FIFA competitionsâ€, he added.
â€œThis is not do or die thing because someone like Sani Lulu, is a government nominee, so government can call him and others to a parley, where we would not have to incur the wrath of FIFA. There are more civilized ways to do these things but some people did not tell the President of Nigeria the implications.
â€œWe are ready to step down , so that Nigerian football would not suffer the sledge hammer, which would take us back ten yearsâ€, he added.
On the reported carting away of files from the secretariat of the FA, on Wednesday, the FA top-shot, said nothing of such happened, noting that men of the police came calling, on a rather false alarm from some faceless persons who reported that some people were fighting in the FA..
â€œWe were in the office till 10pm when we now met the police to enquire what they brought them to our office and they frankly told us that they got a call that there was a heavy fight going on in our office, which they later found out to be a hoaxâ€, he said