Nigerian football in turmoil as legal battle trails NFF elections, The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) election that was slated to take place on September 30 in Benin City, Edo State, was halted last week by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Additionally, Justice Inyang Ekwo decided that the status quo should be maintained by all parties and postponed further proceedings until October 31.
In order to address the NFF’s unequal representation of the five statutory bodies that make up the organization in terms of voting rights and representation on the NFF Board, its Congress, and substanding committees, the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) filed a lawsuit against the federation.
Harrison Jalla, Victor Baribote, Austin Popo, and PFAN are the claimants; Amaju Pinnick, the head of the Nigeria Football Federation, and Sunday Dare, the minister of sports, are the defendants.
It becomes evident that the poll may not take place in Edo State’s Benin City.
Rumor has said that the location could be changed to Abuja.
Ufuoma Egbamuno, a journalist and the head of news at Nigeria Info FM, is unsurprised by the most recent development.
“Nothing surprises me anymore regarding Nigerian football, and especially not this latest legal action against the NFF,” Egbamuno told DAILY POST.
It has become a go-to playbook, one that is frequently pulled out of storage and used.
“The issue is that the main players—NFF and those bringing the legal action—are all acting solely out of self-interest and not out of a desire to advance Nigerian football.
Therefore, these components will continue to follow the script no matter what pays their bills, even if it means delaying or canceling scheduled elections.
“The core of the problem is the long-running argument over whether football-related disputes may be brought before ordinary courts vs national sovereignty and why sport cannot supersede the law.
And disputes amongst parties date back more than ten years.
For lack of a better term, “it’s all a mess.”