The National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) President, Harrison Jalla has accused World Football body, FIFA of being behind the leadership crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation.
According to a statement made available to The Guardian it said: “if FIFA is not contained promptly, the impunity with which it operate in Africa, especially in Nigeria, manipulation, clandestine letters and nocturnal visits to the seat of power” would do more damage to the nation’s football.
NANF President, Harrison Jalla said that FIFA was operating with recklessness and gross violations of its own rules and statutes undermining the rule of law and tenets of democracy.
“FIFA using football as a tool is already a serious threat to sovereign nations in Africa particularly Nigeria in defiance of several European Union Conventions and Protocols,” Jalla said. “For instance, as we speak, all tiers of Nigeria domestic leagues have been suspended indefinitely since June 2018.”
In its effort to deal with the situation, NANF has written to a law firm in London, Johnson and Steller Solicitors, urging it to among other things, investigate the allegation of fostering corruption in football, which FIFA currently perpetrates in Nigeria, investigate the meddling and interference by FIFA in the affairs and running of football in Nigeria, investigate the loss, which Nigeria footballers, past and present, may have sustained as a result of FIFA interference in fostering and encouraging corruption and corrupt practices in the administration of football in Nigeria and commence proceedings in any court or tribunal in any jurisdiction of its choice.
In the letter to Johnson and Steller Solicitors in London, NANF attached the judgment of Supreme Court of Nigeria dated the 27 April, 2018 SC: 731/2018, court of Arbitration for sports Award (CAS 2014. A 374483766), a media release from FIFA dated August 14, 2018, a letter dated August 14, 2018 from the Embassy of Nigeria in Switzerland to FIFA, another letter dated August 15, 2018 from the Embassy of Nigeria in Switzerland to FIFA, a letter dated August 16, 2018 from FIFA to the Sports Minister in Nigeria, and a letter dated August 17, 2018 from the Office of the Vice President of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria in response to a clandestine letter from FIFA dated August 13, 2018, among others.
Jalla stated that NANF’s main objective is the welfare of Nigerian footballers current and retired, and to ensure good governance in Nigeria football.