Godfrey Gaya, the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Sports, on Tuesday hailed the action taken by the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) on the scandalous match fixing clubs and officials.
All the players and officials of the division four clubs, involved in the infamous Nigeria Nationwide League (NNWL) promotion play-off in Bauchi were on Monday banned for life.
In one of the matches, Plateau United FC Feeder team defeated Akurba FC of Nasarawa State, 79-0, while Police Machine of Adamawa defeated Babayaro of Gombe 67-0 in another match.
Plateau United Feeders and Police Machines FC were tied on four points each, with the same goal difference, and needed the last matches to qualify into the NNWL Division 3.
The Chairman said that the decision to ban all those involved in the case was a welcome development for football in the country.
“I was very scandalised and disappointed when I first heard about this issue.
“We don’t need this type of development in a time when we are beginning to see resurgence in our football; having emerged as African champions.
“For God sake that issue further put our football many years behind.
“But, I thank God that the NFA immediately condemned the act and swung into action to nip the issue in the bud.
“They promised that they were going to go down and fish out all the culprits and they did,”he said.
He added that his committee kept watch over the proceedings as they unfolded and were satisfied with the verdict at the end of the investigation.
He also commended the Organisation and Disciplinary (O & D) committee that was set up by the NFA for doing a thorough and transparent work.
“As a committee, we were watching and waiting to see the end of their investigation and actions.
“We are indeed glad that they have kept to their words. The action taken, I believe will serve as a deterrent to everyone else.
“To the best of our knowledge, the Committee has carefully looked into the whole issue with a view of averting such occurrence tomorrow and we cannot in anyway fault their verdict,”Gaiya said.
Gaiya also noted that it was good that the whole truth was made known not just to Nigerians, but to the whole world.
“This I think is the right thing to do and it will go a long way in redeeming the global image of Nigerian football”, he said.