Nigerian Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung has stated the need for the world football governing body, FIFA, to stop threatening the country with ban.
The Minister who made this known to Kwesé ESPN at the Seninde Foundation Women football tournament at Philip Omondi Stadium, Lugogo, is of the view that as a Sovereign State, Nigeria should not bow to FIFA pressure.
Recall that the football governing body had warned the country to either recognise NFF legitimate president Amaju Pinnick or face the FIFA hammer.
However in his reaction, Dalung says; FIFA will not scare us. We are a big country and FIFA must learn to listen to a country that is investing a lot of money in football development.
There is a misconception of the entire situation. FIFA is an international organisation. Nigeria is a country and a defined sovereign state which is affiliated to FIFA. We have a crisis in the football leadership and the crisis went to the courts and the supreme courts decided. So, what is FIFA talking about? And yet they also don’t want to meet us.
FIFA cannot be right. They have not even appreciated what is on the ground. Football is funded in Africa by governments which build the infrastructure and pump in money. FIFA must therefore learn to treat the government partners with respect,” he added.
The angry visible Minister wondered why the football body refused to engage them to discuss the crisis in the Nigerian football, only to issue an ultimatum to either reinstate Pinnick or get banned.
We wrote them a letter seeking to discuss about the crisis in Nigerian football. But, we received a letter on Thursday saying that they are not willing to meet with the Nigerian delegation. That is the best we have done to engage with them and discuss the crisis.
They have decided to take sides and stand by what they think.
Meanwhile Federal Government has reinstated Amuju Pinnick as NFF president.
This is made known by the senior special assistant to the Vice President on media and publicity, Laola Akande.
Akande stated in his twitter handle, that the FG has already conveyed to FIFA its firm position recognizing Amaju Pinnick-led NFF as the current & only NFF Exco.
“Government will also continue to work with all relevant stakeholders involved to resolve dispute in a timely manner. Federal Government is upholding NFF treaty obligations to FIFA,” the statement added.