The Nigeria Football Federation has dismissed as baseless claims by a Belgium-based, FIFA-licensed agent, Nigeria-born Julius Owen Ighodaro that he was heading to FIFA over the forthcoming Nigeria/Argentina international friendly football match because he had a contract with the NFF to organize the game.
Acting General Secretary of the NFF, Barrister Musa Amadu said on Monday that though the Federation issued Ighodaro a letter of mandate to discuss the possibility of such a match, the agent had long come back to the NFF to say it was not possible.
“It is true we issued Ighodaro a letter of mandate to discuss with Argentina, after he came to us to claim that Argentina would be on a tour of Africa and that he could getthem to play the Super Eagles.
We therefore issued him the letter of mandate to see how this could be done. However, Ighodaro later came back to inform us that Argentina would no longer be willing to play Nigeria. At this point, we duly considered the matter dead and buried.
“Afterwards, our sponsors, Guinness came to us with valid papers that they had the consent of Argentina and we signed the papers. Everybody is happy about what Guinness has been able to do and the game would definitely go ahead on Wednesday, 1st June, 2011.
“The letter of mandate is something that we had given to a number of people in the past, to discuss on our behalf with willing Federations for the possibility of friendly games. We had issued Ighodaro a similar mandate to discuss with Gabon on the possibility of bringing that country’s national team here for an international friendly against the Super Eagles on 29th March, 2011 and he was unable to pull it off.
“The mandate we signed with Ighodaro was a one_off thing, and at no time did we sign any contract with him concerning the match. We are therefore not contractually liable or committed to him or any of his collaborators.
“The NFF is now extremely careful about the kind of people we have relationship with concerning organization of matches.
“I must also add that this is the first time we are hearing about anyone by the name Pierre Herve Nouma Atangana on this issue. We had no idea that the Julius Owen Ighodaro works for another person. He gave us the impression he works for himself.
So, we absolutely have no connection with the said Pierre Herve Nouma Atangana in this matter, as the mandate was given to Mr. Ighodaro in his own name and company, and nobody else”, explained Amadu.