FIFA Double Standard Causes Of Lingering NFF Crisis-Bar Hazard
Counsel to the Amb. Chris Giwa led-Nigeria Football Federation President board, Bar Habila Hazard has identified double standard on the part of Federation of International Football Association FIFA as the causes of lingering crisis at country’s football governing which needed to be sorted out with internal mechanism.
He made the accusation while addressing newsmen in Abuja on the threat by FIFA to ban Nigeria from all football activities following intervention by the court.
It will be recalled that Giwa had dragged the Amaju Pinnick-led board to court over forceful takeover of the NFF secretariat following Pinnick’s emergence as president in an election conducted on Sept. 30, 2014.
The election prevented Giwa who claims to have emerged as NFF president at an earlier election on Aug. 26, 2014, from assuming office
Bar. Hazard argued that Nigerian law should determine the validity of Election, adding that threat by FIFA was a calculated attempt to subvert the constitution of the country and an act of neo-colonialism.
According to him, do we take it that FIFA laws are superior to the judgment of the highest court in our land, the Supreme Court, and has FIFA elevated itself before the constitution of Nigeria?
“When we went to Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), they affirm that issue before it is not the validity of the election, and that it is the domestic law of Nigeria that should determine the validity of an election or elections.
“FIFA is bound by the decision of CAS and that is why the Giwa-led board went to court to determine the validity of those elections.
“So, if CAS gave this judgment that domestic laws of a country should determine the validity of its elections, why should FIFA threaten to ban Nigeria, when this is the decision of CAS and FIFA is bound by the decision of CAS?
“As we speak, FIFA has never for one day heard from Giwa on this matter rather it prefers to go by the tactics of the Pinnick-led board.”
He urged FIFA to purge itself of bias and respect the country’s judicial system or face another round of challenge at CAS.
“FIFA is not supposed to interfere in domestic affairs; article 69 (2) of the NFF statutes says `domestic affairs should be determined in Nigeria and FIFA jurisdiction only comes in when it involves international disputes’.
“So, FIFA cannot ban Nigeria; I challenge FIFA, if they feel they are impartial in this matter, let them come to Nigeria or invite both parties to Zurich, Switzerland; that is the rule of natural justice.
“We want to know if FIFA can approbate and reprobate all at the same time.”