FIFA insists on arbitration panel for NFF election dispute

fifa-logoBy Albert Akota

The world football ruling body has recommended the establishment of an arbitration panel to solve the disputes engulfing the Nigeria football house

Fifa has recommended that an arbitration panel should be set up by the Nigeria Football Federation to resolve the disputes arising from the September 30 elections in Warri.

In a letter signed by Fifa’s Director of Legal Affairs Marco Villiger and Head of Corporate Legal Oliver Jaberg respectively, it acknowledged the receipt of letter from Ike Igbogwe over the NFF’s rejection of its request for an arbitration panel.

Fifa said it has no authority to resolve the crisis insisting it was an internal affairs and resolved to accept in entity the verdict of a ‘competent body’ set-up to rule over the appeals’ verdict against seeking redress at a regular court.

“We acknowledge receipt of your correspondence dated 12 January 2015, and have duly taken note of its content,” its statement which was also copied to the NFF on Monday, January 19, the letter read.

“A copy of the aforementioned correspondence is forwarded to Nigeria Football Federation for its information.

“After a thorough analysis of the facts reported in your correspondence, we have to inform you that this seems to be an internal matter, which does not come under the remit of Fifa.

“As a consequence of the above, Fifa is not in position to intervene in this matter. Finally, we kindly draw your attention to the fact that this information is only of a general nature.

“And, therefore, without prejudice to any decision that any competent body may be called to pass in this or similar matters in the future,” it concluded.

The Amaju Pinnick-led board during its fourth executive committee meeting held on Thursday, January 8, quashed request from Igbokwe to set-up an arbitration panel insisting ‘the majority report of the appeals committee was adopted by the executive’.

Earlier, Igbokwe, who contested for 1st Vice President of the NFF in the September 30 elections, submitted a request for an arbitration panel to be set up to arbitrate on the election held in Warri, Delta State.

Moreover, the resolve of the Pinnick-led board against setting up of an arbitration panel forced Igbokwe’s return to Fifa after his botched appeals for fresh elections over alleged irregularities in the electoral process.

Meanwhile, the response of NFF will be awaited over the latest order of fifa in resolve of the election disputes following the split that had the ‘minority and majority’ in the NFF Appeals Committee.

The expected ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sports over the legal matter installed by the faction of Chris Giwa led NFF board to reclaim his mandate as NFF boss following the disputed victory at the NFF election held on August 26.

 

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