Thank God, the League Management Company acted promptly and decisively too. Anything short of the expulsion of FC Giwa from the premier league would have greatly undermined not just the integrity of the league, but also make Nigerian football a further global laughing stock.
FC Giwa infringed on Article B13.28 which prescribes expulsion from the league for any club that fails to honour three matches cumulatively within a season.
Good enough, there had been precedents. Otherwise, persecution would have been alleged. Stores and Ocean Boys were expelled in 1993 and 2012 respectively for their inability to honour fixtures.
Like the famous Super Stores of Lagos and the 2006 league champions, Ocean Boys FC of Brass, the strict adherence to the rules means FC Giwa has to go under. Giwa FC prior to Friday’s decision had been forewarned.
One only hopes that people in government will not press for political solution to what is strictly a football matter. If Giwa cannot submit his club to rules and regulations governing our domestic competitions, how then will he expect others to abide, should he assume leadership position?
No doubt, the obvious intention of the FC Giwa’s proprietor is to keep raking up as much problems and controversies as possible in order to put Nigerian football to severe ridicule and rob it of effective packaging, marketing and sponsorship.
Chris Giwa, as a businessman, (since professional football is supposed to be a business venture), has found it difficult to separate his enterprise from his political battles.
The club through the prompting of its owner brazenly breached rules.
The responses from FC Giwa for the failure to honour their league matches were hinged on a purported letter from an imaginary “NFF” that exists only in the minds of Chris Giwa and his co-travellers.
In short, Giwa FC does not recognise the NFF as currently constituted. What an affront? The sack of the board headed by Amaju Pinnick exists only in the imagination of Chris Giwa. Fortunately, we don’t have to live under his illusion.
Since the Federation Cup is a competition organised by the NFF which FC Giwa does not recognise, will it also consider pulling out so that we have a full cycle?
The next step is easily predictable. The strict football matter will again be tabled at a civil court of his predictable place of choice. It is a predictable cycle.
Even though the LMC did well to protect the players and the technical crew by granting them waiver to terminate their contracts with the club for ‘just cause’ or ‘sporting just cause’ and releasing them for contracts with other clubs during the on-going season, a severe damage has been done to their career by the club owners.
The players in the bid to continue their career will be negotiating from point of weakness. This is what happens to any jobless person.
If the court has truly sacked the board led by Amaju, it does not need Giwa or any individual to enforce its ruling. The Federal High Court, Jos, has not appointed him as its bailiff. This is apart from the clarification already made by the registrar of the court.
The registrar has explained that the court has not sacked Amaju Pinnick. No vacuum therefore exists for Chris Giwa to fill. A further clarification has also been made by the Hon. Justice M.H. Kufrya.
Since the club owner does not recognise the existence of the current board of the NFF and at the same time has waved aside issues raised by FIFA which pointed out that he has exhausted all legitimate avenues within the football family, having lost his case at the Court of Arbitration for Sports, he may as well with other suspended federations of Benin Republic and Kuwait form a new version of FIFA. It will be a novel idea.
FIFA AT 112
The world football governing body Saturday clocked 112, though it is not a milestone anniversary. Nothing much has changed in the football governing body except that for the first time, it is having a non-European, a lady and an African as its General Secretary. This is a position that has been dominated by the Swiss who have produced six of the 10 previous heads of the secretariat. In the late 1990s, there was a popular saying that the “future of football is feminine”. Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura, the Senegalese African flag bearer in Nigeria, you are welcome to the future foretold.