The Nigeria Football Federation on Thursday re-instated the Ondo State Football Association Vice-Chairman, Dele Ologbese, two years after he was suspended by the Chairman, Dele Ajayi.
This was part of the resolutions reached after a stakeholders meeting organised by the NFF to resolve the differences in the Ondo FA in Akure.
While speaking on the sidelines of the meeting with newsmen, NFF 1st Vice-President, Seyi Akinwunmi, said as the Coordinator of football in the South West, NFF statutes must be followed.
Asked who will be the vice-chairman of the FA in the State, Akinwumi repeated that anybody not elected could not be brought into the board to act.
Akinwumi later described all the allegations levelled against Ologbese as baseless and needless, adding that they were not in any way for the FA to act on.
He said he was not on either side of the factions but had come with the Chairman of Chairmen, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, to move football forward in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Ajayi-led board had suspended Ologbese and four other board members for different reasons in 2016.
The other suspended members are Zion Ogunfeyimi, Felix Ademulegun, Dotun Omoogun and Ajayi Ogidi and had all been returned by the NFF leadership.
The tussle between Ajayi and Ologbese was over the chairmanship of the association in the state.
Ajayi had supported the Chris Giwa-led faction of the NFF, while Ologbese, who was elected the Vice-Chairman of the board, but suspended by the Ajayi-led board, was recognised by the Amaju Pinick-led NFF.
Akinwunmi said: “Thank you for coming for this resolution of issues.
“We are one football family.
“The crisis will affect children, young footballers and young referees, coaches and all businesses around football will suffer.
“It is in our collective interest that we sort this matter out.
“You should at least sheath your swords for Ondo State football to move forward.
“As coordinator of South West football, I am not on the side of anybody, but on the side of football.”
Contributing, Gusau ordered the FA in the state to as a matter of urgency conduct elections at the local government level of the association, before the state’s election.
Gusau noted that elections must be conducted into the board of the state’s FA before February 28, saying: “No one will stay extra one day in a position if elections are not conducted.”
Ologbese told newsmen after the meeting that he was happy the NFF leadership came to the state to resolve the perceived difference in the FA.
He said: “I am very happy about this development.
“We are back as one indivisible family.
“I want to say that football is going to grow and develop in this state now.
“There is no way progress can be recorded in an atmosphere of crisis.”