The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, has revealed that the 20th September elections of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board which is set to hold in Katsina is null and void as it is not recognised before the law of Nigeria.
He further stated that world football governing body, FIFA cannot ban Nigeria as there is no treaty to that effect.
Dalung stated this while speaking to journalists at the National Stadium in Abuja during the launch of the elite athlete development grant mounted by the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI).
According to him, technical football matters cannot be taken to a civil court, but when a matter infringes on a person’s right, such a person is entitled to take it to court. It is a Constitutional provision.
“We must come back and deal with the issue of the court. The best way to resolve this issue is, first is for the major gladiators to engage themselves honestly and ensure that the matter is taken out of the court.”
“The argument where some people are saying football issues cannot be taken to court except the court of arbitration for sports is erroneous, those people speaking this charge have not even read the FIFA statutes.”
“FIFA statutes only limits technical issues to the court, issues like fixing of matches, players, organisation of a match because these can truncate the progress of football development if allowed to be taken to court.”
“But things that has to do with personal rights of an individual are within the domain of national laws. For example, we have the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights which accorded every individual to seek redress, you cannot take that right away by any international statutes.
Dalung added that “Section 41 of the Nigerian constitution provides that any citizens who feels aggrieved, suspect that his right has been trampled upon, can approach the high court to seek redress. These are rights that no statutes can take away.
“So, when you say FIFA statutes prohibit the issue of taking football matters to conventional court except CAS, you are exhibiting what we called mental hemorrhage that is the highest level of ignorance exhibited by someone whose parents spent so much money on sending him to school. You have to go and look at the content of those statutes.
“You see in Nigeria we have been made cowards because people will just sit down within the confines of their room, write letters and intimidate the giant of Africa, telling us that FIFA is coming.
“They make our children not to be able to defend this country later in future because we are injecting the fear of a monster called FIFA.
“Elsewhere, which we have not said, there is no treaty between Nigeria and FIFA, anybody who claims that we have a treaty should produce a copy, but there is an affiliation, an agreement, between FIFA and NFF and not everybody is a member of Nigeria Football Federation.
“It’s just like the Boys Scout, which is also an international organisation and it’s the oldest international organisation in Nigeria, it came in 1911. Boys Scout can only ban its members for any reason. They cannot ban Nigeria as a nation,” he concluded.