BY MONICA IHEAKAM
FORMER President of West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Jonathan Ogufere is not happy with the crisis rocking Nigerian football and has called on Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung to end it by calling Chris Giwa to order.
The highly respected octogenarian football buff who is also chairman of Sports Veterans Association of Nigeria, said he is dismayed that Giwa and his group are hell-bent on destabilising Nigerian football over an issue that Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) had laid to rest.
He stressed that Nigeria should respect the status of world soccer governing body, FIFA, having voluntarily elected to be a member.
Hear him: “The minister of sports cannot afford to keep quiet. He needs to restore peace. We are totally dismayed that after an issue has gone to the highest court in sports and has been settled, some people are still using it to destabilise Nigerian football.
“Don’t forget that we barely escaped FIFA ban the last time this issue came up. We should not portray ourselves like a nation that is not ready to abide by international rules. For the goodness of our youths and our football this issue should be nipped in the bud immediately. Enough, of this charade. I m not just speaking as an individual, this is the way, we the veterans in Nigerian sports feel.
“We’ve been watching and we’re not happy with what is going on.”
Ogufere charged Giwa and his group to wait for Amaju’s tenure to end before taking over the Glass House, insisting that being the President and board members of NFF must not be a matter of life and death.
“It’s about time this issue is settled once and for all. If you lose an election you keep calm and wait for another time. It shouldn’t be a do or die affair or matter of life and death. It’s unnecessarily disturbing the sporting atmosphere in Nigeria. Going to a regular court runs foul of FIFA rules. Nobody forced us to join FIFA and once we are there we must abide by the rules.
Nobody is saying FIFA laws are superior to that of Nigeria. We are not talking about superiority now but respecting ourselves as a member of the international community.”