I can’t go to jail over NFF Crisis, says Dalung

Nigeria Football Federation

“I was served a court order directly and seven days after contempt of court was served on me but as a lawyer, I will prefer to leave office with my name as a lawyer than serve in Kuje prison”, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung has said.
The minister made his disposition in Asaba during interview with journalists on the crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in recent times.
Dalung was in Asaba on inspection visit of the ongoing construction work at the Stephen Kashi Stadium the venue of the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship (ASAC).
The minister said that the Chris Giwa and Amaju Pinnick power tussle for the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had rocked the peace in the sports commission.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), in recent time, there is a resurgence of crisis and I think it is important that Nigerians are informed about this crisis,” he said.
He said that he believed that both parties have learnt in a hard way from the recent Supreme Court judgement, adding that the way forward was for the feuding parties to shift ground and allow peace to rain.
According to Dalung, Federal Government had not interfered in the sport related matter but was dragged into the issue by the feuding parties.
“For us as government, we have basically just complied with the order of court and let us not forget that government is limited from interfering with the domestic affairs of football.
“And both parties dragged government into this matter, so, government is just a victim and not even when people argue and saying that FIFA will ban.
‘Will it be fair that the man who has been receiving beating and at the end of the day would bear the brunt of the crisis? “I think that will be unfair, we never interfered, we have funded football, we have supported football but their inability to manage their internal crisis which took them to court and they dragged government into it.
He said that he had suggested long before now that this issue was a family issue and could not be resolved by a judicial decision.
“I have mounted several pressure on the parties but there is no good faith and in every negotiation, if there is no good faith, you are not likely to have that issue resolved.
“But now that it has happen I believe that the parties have learnt their lessons the hard way and they may be able to shift ground to ensure that we overcome the challenge,” Dalung said.
The minister traced the crisis to have started back 2004, when Ibrahim Galadima was removed out of office, adding that that has been hunting the federation.
He said that the crisis snowballed to subsequent removal of previous leaders until the last election that became controversial.
He said that under FIFA status, sport issues were determined by court of arbitration, adding that in the current NFF crisis between Giwa and Pinnick, that both parties had subscribed the jurisdiction of Nigerian courts.
“This is because Giwa went to the Federal High Court and Amaju went to the court of appeal, so, both of them have subjected themselves to the jurisdiction of Nigerian Judiciary

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