By Fashikun Olajide

•We begged Congress to put interest of football, Nigeria ahead of their discussion
By Olajide Fashikun

Sports Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr Tammy Danagogo has disclosed that the Federal Government has not, will not and does not intend to interfere in the ongoing crisis in the nation’s football.

Danagogo who spoke to reporters at Bolingo Hotel, the venue of the NFF Extra-ordinary congress that sacked the Aminu Maigari-led board at the weekend.

His words: “We will try our best to let FIFA know that there is no government interference and the government does not intend to do so.”

Danagogo said “the government was rather bothered about maintaining peace and order amongst the parties involved in the case. Its like the case of two sons fighting and as a father, they either return to court to settle or take the matter to FIFA. We shall not allow them to fight.

He explained further, “I returned from the World Cup to meet a letter from NFF’s General Secretary, Musa Amadu, informing me of a court order against the executive committee of the NFF. And as a law abiding citizen, I have to allow the law to take its course.

“I will not play any role in what is happening because we try as much as possible as government to allow the development of our various sports, not just football, in a professional manner.

“And it is the professionals that are discussing in this extra ordinary meeting, but I hope that whatever decisions they will take will be in the best interest of the game and the country.

“This is because Nigeria is a country where a big chunk of our population are sports lovers. So, those who are representing the various sports should bear in mind the citizenry of this country and ensure peace and progress,’’ Danagogo said.
On the FIFA letter, he said, “I am aware of the letter from FIFA but the fact remains that there is no government interference. We will try our best to let FIFA know that there is no government interference and the government does not intend to do so.

“But I can assure you, I will not interfere beyond doing what is needful statutorily, even by FIFA’s rule, beyond ensuring that there is a peaceful atmosphere,’’ Danagogo said.

According to him, if two persons are fighting and the court gives an order, it is the duty of the executive to obey the law and ask parties to pursue the case.

“What we are doing as government now is to tell both sides to relax and go before the court or FIFA to settle their matter and that is the only thing that we will do.

“So, what we are doing as a government is for both sides who are Nigerians and stakeholders to maintain their calm, peace, law and order.

“And if it is the court that can settle it for them, fine; if it is FIFA, they should settle it with FIFA, but we won’t allow them to fight and we will not go beyond that.”

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