The Nigeria Football Federation on Monday dispatched a letter to Zurich, the headquarters of the Federation of International Football Association in Switzerland to keep the leadership of the world’s football governing body abreast of the recent development in Nigerian football.
Prompt News gathered that the letter was dispatched ahead of FIFA’s Tuesday’s deadline for the sanctioning of Nigeria, which could include suspension.
The world soccer ruling body had threatened to refer Nigeria’s case to its disciplinary committee for appropriate sanction should Nigeria fail to reinstate the Aminu Maigari-led Executive Board latest by June 8, 2014.
The letter sent to FIFA detailed the process leading to the convening of the Extra-Ordinary Congress that dissolved the Maigari-led Board last Saturday.
According to the letter, the NFF posited that the Congress was summoned in line with its Statues.
It was also learnt that another letter was written detailing corruption charges levelled against Maigari that compelled the operatives of the Department of State Service to invite him for questioning on arrival from Brazil.
Specifically, the Nigerian Government wants Maigari to account for N2.6 billion released to him for the 2014 World Cup, the N2.8 billion left in the Federation’s coffers by his predecessor, Sani Lulu Abdullahi, as well as hundreds of million of naira he receives as monthly as allocation from the government.
The letter also reminded the FIFA bosses that the tenure of Maigari’s board expires in August, assuring them that the NFF would conduct fresh election in line with the NFF and FIFA statues to usher in a new Executive Board.
Apart from the letter, a powerful Federal Government delegation is also billed to meet with the leadership of FIFA to reassure it that the government would not interfere in the running of football but only showed concern over gross misappropriation of funds.
Prompt News recalls that FIFA had in a letter signed by its Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, described the recent development in Nigerian football as “very worrisome and an undue interference”.
Valcke said the World football ruling body has taken note of the court order restraining Maigari and his executive board from running Nigerian football, the appointment of an acting Secretary General, as well as the Extra-Ordinary congress conveyed for Saturday.
FIFA reiterated its resolve not to recognise “any person or organ not elected in compliance with the NFF Statues (Article 17, par 2 and 3 of FIFA Statues) and therefore will not consider the appointment made by the Minister of Sports”.
The letter also reads in part: “Additionally, we will not recognise any decision taken by the above mentioned Extra-Ordinary Congress which will be considered null and void.
“An elective congress has been duly conveyed by the NFF for 26 August, 2014 and only decisions, persons elected then will be considered legitimate.
“We ask that you respectfully inform the relevant authorities that if the aforementioned NFF officials are not fully reinstated by Tuesday, July 8, 2014, we will have no choice but to refer the case to the appropriate FIFA organ for sanctions, including the suspension of the NFF.”
Meanwhile, a member of the dissolved Executive Board, who attended the Extra-Ordinary Congress, Chief Effiong Johnson, has allayed the fears that the Congress contravened FIFA Statues, saying it was convened and conducted in line with the NFF Statues.
Johnson said: “Some of my colleagues, who are State Chairmen, made terrible mistakes by keeping away from the Congress that was properly conveyed.
“Some of them sent their secretaries, some sent representatives, forgetting that once a State FA sends s representative, he or she automatically becomes a delegate and any decision taken will be bidding on such State that sent the representative.
“So, it is funny that some of them are now saying they were not part of the meeting when they actually sent representatives.”
It would be recalled that the Extra-Ordinary Congress in dissolving the NFF Executive Board, accused Maigari of secrecy in the finances of the Federation.
Delegates present also “bemoaned the unfortunate incident of the international embarrassment caused the Nigeria nation at the 2014 FIFA World Cup by the failure of the Maigari-led NFF to fully and firmly resolve issues of finance with the Super Eagles ahead of the championship.
The communique of the Congress said: “Congress accused the Maigari administration of abuse of NFF Statues in its constitution of the NFF Electoral Committee, by altering the list of persons approved by the Congress at the 2013 General Assembly.
“The Extra-Ordinary Congress unanimously endorsed the dissolution of the Aminu Maigari-led NFF Executive Committee, and immediate termination of the employment of all management staff.
“The Congress also endorsed the dissolution of the Boards of the Nigeria National League, Nigeria Women League and the Nigeria Nationwide League.
“The Vice Chairmen are to take over the running of the Leagues and report to the Acting General Secretary of NFF.
“Congress approved the appointment of Mr. Lawrence Katken as Acting Secretary General of the NFFF, pending the appointment of a substantive General Secretary.”