Wednesday, February 16, 2011

FIFA Threatens to Ban Nigeria again

World football governing body, FIFA, has threatened again to ban Nigeria over court cases instituted by the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF).

In a letter to the Nigeria Football Association, dated February 3 and signed by its secretary, Jerome Valcke, FIFA said that Nigerians should hold NANF responsible for any action taken against Nigeria over the numerous court cases.

FIFA said NANF does not qualify to contest the results of elections into the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) since the World Players' Union, FIFPRO, does not recognise it. It also said that since NANF is not a member of the NFA, it has no legal rights in seeking redress in court of law.

Consequently, it said, NANF cannot contest the results of the elections and should NANF "action before a court materialised in any judicial action against NFA, it would then bear all the responsibility in the eyes of the Nigerian public, if FIFA should take action because of interference."

NFA had reported NANF to FIFA on January 24, claiming that NANF is an illegal body not recognised by FIFPRO. It said in the letter that all efforts at settling the matter out of court have been rebuffed by NANF.

But the NANF president Harrison Jalla has asked FIFA to go hell,saying if it wants to ban Nigeria that is its business.

Jalla said in an interview on Tuesday that without a country known as Nigeria, there can be NFA. "Nigeria is not a lawless society, our laws not be obeyed, to hell with FIFA. We are asking for a change and people are running to FIFA. Is it now that we want to get them out of office that they just realised that NANF is an illegal body?

"They are just using the media to blackmail us, we will not be deterred. If FIFA want to ban Nigeria so be it. That is there business. Nigeria laws must be obeyed and I will not belong to the class of people who will trample on the laws of the land," he said.

Jalla added that NANF has been dealing with NFA during the time of Ikpeazu, adding that why did FIFA recognise NANF when it took up the matter of the former Ranger player, John Kromah who died in 2001 with it.

"We took up the matter with FIFA and when we did not get justice we went to CAS. Rangers FC and NFA were parties in the suit, then NANF was not an illegal body.

He said NANF is working with the Nigerian Police to ensure that the Federal High Court order of September 6, 2010 declaring the elections that brough Aminu maigari and others to NFF illegal was obeyed.

"The Police have been served the order and the Inspector General of Police is aware of it. In fact, the IG has asked the Commissioner of Police, Legal Unit, to advise him on the order," Jalla said.

Daily Independent

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