FOOTBALL IDENTITY CRISIS

By NBF News
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Respite has finally come the way of Nigerian football following the agreement of the warring factions in Abuja yesterday to bury the hatchet over the lingering identity crisis that had disturbed the smooth running of the game in last two months.

In an unsigned communiqué read by the chairman of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) parallel board, Jareth Tenebe, both parties agreed to the mediation by the new Minister of Sports, Yusuf Suleiman, to set up a committee made up of Nigerians of high standing in the society, adding that the NFA (NFF) and the stakeholders shall nominate one representative each to finalise the peace parley.

Addressing the media in Abuja yesterday, the minister had pointed out that the resolution was made possible following his observation that the two groups have strong passion for the development of football in Nigeria after several meetings with them, admitting that he felt honoured with the way and manner each of them accepted the final resolutions.

He further disclosed, during the media questions and answers session, that he would, by next week, inaugurate a committee and equally give it the terms of references, just as he appealed to the media to refrain from fuelling the crisis with imflamable reports to avoid escalation of the situation.

Tenebe, who also assured that his group, would accept every measure the minister employed to resolve the crisis, had while reading the communiqué earlier, noted that the resolution was made possible by the intervention of the minister.

'Following the intervention of the Hon. Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission (NSC) and the subsequent meetings with representative members of the NFA (NFF) Executive Board and the other stakeholders, led by Jareth Tenebe the meeting resolved as follows:

'That all agreed to the need for peace (to prevail) as a prerequisite for football development. That there is a need to reform football administration in the country and, therefore, start the process by the constitution of a committee made up of Nigerians of high standing in the society in which the NFA (NFF) and the stakeholders shall nominate one representative each.

'All parties are to withdraw any pending legal matter in court and subsequently refrain from taking football matters to court. That NFA (NFF) should as a matter of urgency, put machinery in motion to reconcile the Nigerian players union in the interest and welfare of our footballers.

'Finally, that all actions shall be geared henceforth towards the good of the game and its development in Nigeria and in the best interest of this country,' the communiqué read.

The Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr. Patrick Ekeji, had noted that the resolution was the fruit of the concerted efforts of the minister to bring peace to the Nigerian football. 'Crisis is part of living because there must always be differences and misunderstanding, but dialogue is the name not the battle field,' he noted.