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Dalung goes into damage control as Nigeria risks FIFA ban

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Appeals for calm from stakeholders

By Tasie Theodore

 

Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung has swung into damage control mode following the announcement Friday, that the Federal Government had appointed new members into the board of the Nigeria Football Federation, among several others.

This is coming after a statement from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation had named Wale Oladunjoye, Sanni Fema, Akintoba Fategun and Sami Marafa as members of the NFF board.

However, FIFA and CAF statutes which Nigeria is signatory to, expressly forbid governmental interference in the composition of the board of the NFF.

Responding to the gaffe through a press statement issued by his media representative, Nneka Anibeze, the minister called ‘on football stakeholders to remain calm as efforts were being made to correct an oversight made following the recent appointments into the board of the Nigeria Football Federation.’

“The recently released board members of NFF is an oversight which is being sorted out. NFF is governed by statutes and board members are elected by congress and not appointed,” Dalung said in the press release.

“I am appealing for calm from all stakeholders as it was an administrative oversight. Efforts are tailored towards addressing it very soon.

“I have spoken with FIFA Secretary General over the situation in Nigeria and conveyed Federal government’s commitment to uphold the governance structure of the Nigeria Football Federation.

 “All efforts are on course to liaise with CAF and FIFA on constructive engagement that the situation may likely attract. This board of NFF under Amaju Pinnick has provided leadership but their performance is subject to a congress and not appointment.”

Critics say the appointments saga underscores the depth of malfunction within the presidency.

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