One of those named as a member of Parallel Nigeria Football Association has boasted that those who ignored them did that at their own peril.
“We couldn’t have planned a parallel body if some people were not backing us,” he said adding “We have people in government who knew our plans and approved them. They encouraged us”.
A day after their planned inauguration and take-over of the football federation failed the member boasted that they would go on to press for a new body and that the sports ministry would eventually intervene. What he said about the sports ministry came to pass.
NFF Secretary-General Musa Amadu, Vice President Chief Mike Umeh and head of the technical committee, Christopher Green were at the sports ministry attending a meeting which our Abuja correspondent, Fidelis Ebu said was also attended by representatives of those spoiling for a parallel football governing body.
“If the sports ministry does not have sympathy for what we are doing they would not be inviting us for a truce. They would have easily condemned us and would have done away with us,” the member boasted, assuring that“we would not come out losers even if we don’t achieve our aim of forming a parallel body.”
They were to form a body called Nigeria Football Association which is the name recognised by Decree 101. They argued that Nigeria Football Federation, the name of the current body, was illegal and not recognised by law.
Executive Chairman of Delta Sports Commission Amaju Melvin Pinnick who also doubles as state FA chairman called from London yesterday to condemn any move to form a parallel body. He said of those behind the move:
“Harrison Jalla and Gara Gombe are my friends. They have all been banned from football in Nigeria. They should apologise to get the ban lifted. I once apologised to NFF just for the interest of football. Blatter sometimes apologises when something goes wrong. What they have done is wrong and was ill-advised.
We have had enough crisis in football and should move on. Why should some people prefer to drag us back? We are playing Argentina next week. It is a big thing for Nigeria. Somehow, things are beginning to happen again in our football. Why this pettiness and confusion? Must everybody be in the federation? The General Congress of the FA changed the name from NFA to NFF.
The General Congress is the highest football decision making body. Jarret Tenebe has no experience or pedigree to run football. Those behind the planned parallel body named him as chairman. Who is he in Nigerian football? He contested for the post of Vice President in the last election.
If he won would he not be in the body he is spoiling to overthrow now? Please emphasize that we have had enough crisis in our football and that people should show love for Nigerian football and not drag it back. We are now playing national matches in Benin, Lagos, Gombe, Kaduna etc. NFF has signed Siasia and now the likes of Ehiosun are coming up. We can see some future in our football and people should not drag us back.”
NFF President Aminu Maigari had honoured the invitation of Inspector General of Police Wednesday and federation spokesman Demola Olajire said that he was invited in respect of a court order nullifying the August 26 NFF election last year and left for Bauchi after a fruitful discussion.