The 1st Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi has disclosed that the body’s executive committee members have no problem with the Supreme Court verdict delivered on Friday as regards the leadership tussle hovering over the federation.
The Apex Court had directed that the court case between the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board and the Chris Giwa-led faction should be reopened for trial at the High Court.
Barrister Akinwunmi while speaking on behalf of the other board members said: “We are law-abiding citizens of this great country, and we have no qualms about starting the case afresh. The Supreme Court did the right thing in the circumstances, and while we must be careful not to discuss matters which are subjudice, we must note that the appellants have within the norms in sporting disputes, actually exhausted all legitimate channels in this matter, including arguing their position, and failing, at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“Globally, the convention of football is that football matters should not be taken to civil courts. Instead, it should be taken to Arbitration as the appellants have already done in this matter with no success. That ordinarily should have been the end of the matter. However, as law-abiding citizens, the NFF is ready to follow this through, vindicate ourselves and continue with the peaceful and enormous progress that has come to define Nigerian Football in the past few years.” he added.
He also assured football stakeholders that there is no cause for alarm. Speaking further with the NFF website, Akinwunmi said: “It is important to assure our partners and sponsors, football players, service providers and CAF and FIFA that there is nothing to worry about. We are preparing for the biggest football extravaganza in the universe which starts in a few weeks, and we do not want our players to be unnecessarily disturbed or distracted.
“We also want to assure the Senior Women Team (Super Falcons) and the U20 boys (Flying Eagles), who are starting qualifying campaigns for continental competitions very soon, as well as the U20 (Falconets) who have qualified for the FIFA U20 World Cup finals taking place in France in a few months, that there is nothing to panic about.
“We appreciate the Members of the Congress, CAF and FIFA for their support and confidence in the NFF leadership and assure them that this matter will be put to rest shortly.” he concluded.