By Philips Adefioye
Former Nigerian International, Paul Okoku has lauded the annulment of the election into the Board of the Nigeria Football Association, NFA, describing the judgement of Justice Oko Abang as a new era in the country’s football system.
Okoku who spoke exclusively on telephone with Saturday Vanguard sports from his United States base said that the time has come for ex footballers and soccer loving technocrats to come out and contribute their quota in developing Nigerian football.
He said that some set of people have dragged football in the country into mud by not only dictating the players to make the national team but also dictating to the national team’s coach and not allowing him to perform his duties.
“The court annulment of the August 26 NFA, elections into the Glass house is a big lesson to some manipulators who have hijacked football in the country.
This is what we have been looking forward to in football, nobody is above the law and some people can not be dictating how football in our country should be run. It has gone from bad to worse thinking that the insurance of FIFA will cover them at the end of the whole show. Though they have been using FIFA to threaten a whole Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is insulting, disgracing and embarrassing.
Any time they are in need of money they go to the Federal government but for them to tell the government how the money was spent will be a problem, that is when one will hear that government is interfering. The country has come of age and this is the time for ex footballers and technocrats to unite and stand against people who do not want the progress of the country’s football.
We don’t care of FIFA’s hammer. FIFA as well is one of the problem of football in Nigeria, they know the right thing but are supporting corruption and not ready to hear from the other party “.
The one time defunct Leventis football club of Ibadan player stressed that it was time to ensure justice and fair play in the country’s football adding that FIFA has to apologise to Nigerians, the government and President Goodluck Jonathan for meddling in Nigerian football affairs.
Okoku therefore urged the National Sports Commission, NSC, to use its powers to appoint another electoral committee that will oversee the election as soon as the court gives the go ahead, pointing out that those who will be appointed should all be neutral persons.
“I want the NSC to appoint a new electoral committee to oversee the new elections as soon as the court gives the go ahead.and FIFA must apologise because of their one sided attitude of handling the matter which empowered the NFA to disobey the country’s President and the court order”.