The House of Representatives Committee on Sports says it will resolve the crisis rocking the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) within one week.
The Deputy Chairman of the committee, Anoya Nnebe, said this in Abuja on Thursday after a closed door meeting with the two NFF factions led by Chris Giwa and Amaju Pinnick respectively
Nnebe said the committee was optimistic that the factions would cooperate with it in finding a lasting solution to the lingering crisis in the country’s football governing body.
“We have held a very useful interaction with the two major actors; we have heard the NFF president, (Amaju Pinnick), and we have heard from Chris Giwa.
We are impressed with the outcome of the meeting; we have resolved that there is no way we will be able to conclude today, but we have made far reaching progress.
And we are optimistic that by the rate we are moving, in the next one week the crisis will be fully and completely resolved.
So the members of the committee, resolved, by the directive given by the chairman, that we should talk to the two main contenders, and not talk to a large number of people or getting the press involved so that they will be able to tell us the truth and nothing but the truth.
We have listened to both of them and we now know the way forward. Between now and the next adjourned date we will be able to take care of the grey areas,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the crisis was apparently triggered by a Jos High Court’s relisting of a 2014 judgment purportedly sacking the current NFF board led by Pinnick in favour of Giwa, who opposed the election that brought Pinnick to office.
In response to the latest crisis, the NFF held an Extraordinary General Assembly at which Pinnick’s position as president was reaffirmed.
Giwa and others were referred to the federation’s Disciplinary Board for sundry infractions.
FIFA then came out with its customary warning of a total football ban if the Jos court’s decision was allowed to stand.
Giwa reacted with characteristic defiance and threatened to file contempt of court charges against the NFF.
Briefing the press after the meeting, Pinnick assured that the committee was committed to resolving the crisis to allow football to continue to develop in the country.
“It was quite impressive, the House Committee decided to come into the perceived problem. Since you called it closed door, we should allow it to be closed door, pending when we will have the final meeting on Tuesday, next week.
But I believe it is geared towards enhancing the growth of football because emphasis was more on football than personal or parochial interests; but I believe that at the end of the day, we will all smile and hug ourselves,” he said.
Also speaking, Giwa expressed his commitment to the return of peace to the Football House, saying that crisis was not good for the game of football.
“We have had very good deliberations; I don’t need to tell you that I am satisfied or not because what the house is doing is to find a solution to the crisis. But what we need to do as stakeholders in the football industry is to pray for them that God will guide them to take a decision that is right.
The house is trying to get a solution to the matter. That is the important thing. So, I would not like to be president of a federation where there is crisis.
So whoever wants to bring peace to Nigeria football, I am in support of that,” Giwa stated.