FIFA agent urges Presidency to wade into ongoing NFF crisis


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Shina Philips, a FIFA licensed agent, on Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the ongoing crises rocking the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

Philips told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the crisis which had become a recurring decimal in the country’s football terrain should be addressed.

Chris Giwa and the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board have been involved in a leadership tussle, after a Jos High Court issued an order stopping the election which brought Pinnick to office in 2014.

The crisis took a new dimension on July 2, when Giwa resumed at the NFF office in Abuja, as the president of the body.

Philips, who is also the initiator of the prestigious Nigeria Pitch Awards said: “if the Federal Government can investigate and discover the problem, then we can save our football life.

“I will say to the President and the Minister of Sports who I believe also shares the ideology of fair play to midwife a fresh election in August.

“Possibly the election should be broadcast live because of our peculiarity.

“As long as we have decided to be of FIFA, let us get the elections right once and for all.’’

He, however, noted that failure to resolve the crisis would bring embarrassment to football in the country and possibly FIFA sanctions.

“This crisis is not new, it has always been before Former Chairman of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Ibrahim Galadima, Aminu Maigari led board, so its the same old story.

“We can’t kill the politics that often cripples our sporting life, that is why FIFA remains intact because it does not involve itself in any form of national politics.

“We know FIFA is clearly against government interference and this position is made clear when you decide to be part of the body.

“I respect the laws of our land, but it is also proper that the interpretation of FIFA laws be made clear and signatories adhere strictly to FIFA’s rules for resolving conflicts,’’ he said.

On Nigeria’s early exit from the World Cup, Phillips said: “it would be totally unfair of me to say that I was surprised we were edged out of the World Cup quite early.

“Before I travelled to Russia for the games, I didn’t believe we had the team that could win the World Cup.

“My observation overtime is that virtually all African teams do not prepare to win the World Cup, they always prepare to participate in the World Cup; these are two different things: preparation to be at the World Cup and preparation to win the World Cup.

“If preparations are geared toward winning the tournament, then we must look at what those ahead of us did to win the World Cup.

“We do not take stock of these things, we do not look at history and the methodology put in place by those countries’’.  (NAN)

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