Aba (Abia) – Felix Anyansi-Agwu, the Chairman of Enyimba FC of Aba, has described the resolution of the crisis afflicting the country’s football administration as a major step for the game.
Anyansi-Agwu on Thursday in Aba said that the peaceful resolution of the feud was timely and a welcome development for football in Nigeria.
He added that the crisis had retarded the country’s football development for the period it lasted.
“I was part of the peace initiative so it is coming at the right time. It is a good thing, a welcome development and good to Nigerian football, now Nigerian football can make progress,’’ he said.
The Nigeria Football Association (NFA) had been enmeshed in an intractable crisis, following the “controversial elections’’ that ushered the Aminu Maigari-led board into office in August 2010.
Following this development, Dr Sam Sam Jaja and Mr Ray Nnaji went to court and obtained rulings in their favour and to the detriment of the NFA.
The ruling obtained by Jaja had declared the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) as bodies that were not known to the law.
The pronouncement by the courts left the football hierarchy in the country in a quandary and led to the moves made by the Minister for Sports and others to eventually resolve the imbroglio.
In the same vein, Effie Usen, a Match Commissioner, said that the peaceful resolution of the NFA internal crisis has saved the country from FIFA’s sledge hammer.
“According to FIFA rules, there should be no form of litigation in football, football matters are meant to be adjudicated at the Court of Arbitration for Sports.
“The proposed withdrawal of the cases from the courts will breathe a new lease of life into football development in the country.
“ I am sure most football stakeholders in the country are in support of this historic resolution of the endless crisis that had almost brought the country to its knees,” the match commissioner said.
Usen urged all the disputants to keep to the terms of the agreement in the peace deal brokered to end the crisis.
He commended the pivotal roles played by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, and the Minster for Sport, Bolaji Abdullahi and others for the peaceful resolution of the logjam.
On the concession made to Jaja and Nnaji, Usen said that their reasons for going to court were genuine.
“I think they are just paying back and asking them to go back to the status quo,’’ Usen said.
NFA and Jaja agreed to end their feud by making the latter aN honorary member of the federation as well as reverse his disqualification.
The football association also promised to issue “a letter of unreserved apology tendered by the NFA” to Jaja.
Jaja also promised that he would not enforce the court judgment with suit number FHC/ABJ/CBS/170/10 of Jan. 20, 2012 that declared the NFF and NPL as illegal bodies “provided they keep to terms of the peaceful resolution.”
The other aggrieved person, Nnaji has also agreed to end his legal tussle with the football house after the NFA said it would lift his ban and publicise it.
The NFA has agreed to pay “reasonable compensation” to Nnaji and “pay his outstanding referee allowance, subject to verification.” (NAN)