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Published On: Sun, Jul 20th, 2014

How Adamu saved Nigeria from FIFA ban

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Dr Amos AdamuBy Albert Akota

The Former Executive Committee Member of the Federation of International Football Federation, (FIFA) and Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), Dr Amos Adamu has revealed the vital role he played that enable Nigeria to escape FIFA’s ban from all international football activities.

Peoples Daily Sports recalled that Adamu led a 5-man delegation to Brazil including Sports Minister and Chairman National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr Tammy Danagogo to meet FIFA president, Sepp Blatter to discus unban.

He led a Nigerian delegation to FIFA in Brazil during the last World Cup, of which he met with the FIFA hierarchy and explained Nigeria’s position on a court injunction restraining the board of the Nigeria football federation from controlling football affairs in the country, which FIFA termed ‘government interference’, and which subsequently attracted a suspension.

 “I read about the NFF being dragged to court and soon after, I got a call from the sports minister (Tammy Danagogo) inviting me to come over. I responded in the affirmative, before which he asked me to lead a Nigerian delegation to FIFA to explain the true situation on ground, which wasn’t exactly government interference.”

“I made the minister understand that FIFA will not tolerate football matters being in court and so, the suit will have to be vacated and he agreed. I immediately called the CAF president (Issa Hayatou), and explained to him and also asked him to plead on Nigeria’s behalf. He agreed but warned that the case must be withdrawn from the court,” Adamu said.

The former Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC) also pointed out the difficulty of getting it done when they learnt the courts in Nigeria were on strike, immediately after touching down in Brazil.

“When we learnt that the courts in Nigeria were on strike, I pleaded with the FIFA president who had come to see me, to extend the deadline, which he graciously agreed to. I also called the Baribotes (plaintiffs) to vacate the court case, of which they agreed. That’s how the court case was vacated and the FIFA suspension was lifted, and I’m happy about it, “Adamu revealed.

“He continued “Before then I was in touch with FIFA, assuring them that we will not exceed the deadline and when the order was vacated I told them to send it to FIFA immediately before 11 pm so that they can receive it before 12 midnight that day.

“I called FIFA to tell them that the man had vacated the order and that the board had been reinstated. They said no problem as they promised to get back to us by Friday. So, I am happy that the issue is now over but I hear some people saying that FIFA refused to listen to us. If FIFA refused to listen to us, how did they manage to give us two more days to get court order vacated, “Adamu Asked?

Meanwhile, with the Aminu Maigari-led NFF board now reinstated, Adamu has called for more cooperation and understanding in the running of Nigerian football. Hear him: “I think we should settle all the issues we have, and run the game as one big family.

“We’ve heard and read issues of victimization and I think all that should stop. All parties should be given a fair ground to operate, and that way we can avoid the entire crisis that has bedevilled on Nigerian football,” Adamu said.

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