The Minister of Sports, Tammy Danagogo has dismissed speculations of Nigeria’s impending ban by FIFA due to alleged “government interference.’’
Danagogo told newsmen there was no threat of an impending ban by FIFA because it was aware of recent happenings in Nigerian football.
A High Court in Jos had last week Wednesday granted an order of interlocutory injunction restraining NFF executive comiittee members led by its president,Aminu Maigari and the management staff of the federation led by secretary general,barrister Musa Ahmadu from running the affairs of Nigerian football pending the determination of the case institu.
Danagogo in the aftermath of the court orer appointed Lawrence Katken, the most senior civil servant in the NFF as the Acting Secretary-General.
Consequently, FIFA,claiming reports from various sources on Friday sent a warning letter to the NFF, saying its affiliates had to manage their affairs without “third party influence.’’
However, while reacting to speculations that FIFA would ban Nigeria on Tuesday, the minister was insistent that nothing of such would happen.
“What I am aware of is that FIFA has not threatened to ban Nigeria. What I am aware of is that they (FIFA) said they are aware of what is happening in Nigeria.
“And what that means is that they have heard what happened, and they are expecting the parties involved, that is, the stakeholders in the football family, to brief them.
“As a government, we are doing everything possible to ensure that there is peace, that there is no breakdown of law and order and that our football continues to make progress.
“And I can assure Nigerians that we have very good intentions and, at the end of the day, Nigerians will be happy,’’ he said.
The minister however said it was untrue that he was in Brazil with some officials of the National Sports Commission (NSC) to mediate with the leadership of FIFA.
“Normally, as a Minister of Sports from a country like Nigeria that is so much in love with football, we cannot do without meeting FIFA.
“So, in the course of time, I may certainly meet with FIFA. But, right now, I am around (in Nigeria) trying to ensure that everything is going on well.
“The parties involved will go and brief FIFA first and, if I am coming in, I am coming in not as one of the disputants, but as the Minister of Sports.
“Let the disputing parties do their briefings and, in fullness of time, I will be able to relate with FIFA.
“I will relate and agree with them on the possible ways forward. That is if there are grey areas. But, if there is no grey area, I will not need to see them.
“If after they must have heard from those making submissions to them, and I feel that the way they are going is not in the best interest of the country, I will intervene.
“Or, if I feel that there is the need for better collaboration between the NSC and FIFA, I will go and visit them,’’ Danagogo said.
He said any intervention from the government side would be in the interest of the game.
“We are putting the interest of the country and the game ahead of every other thing.
“Whatever I will do, whatever advice I will give and whatever intervention, if it is necessary that I will do that, will be guided by the interest of the country,’’ Danagogo said