Sports FIFA ban: Sports minister beg Baribote and others to withdraw court suits against NFF

Nigeria's sports minister Tamuno Danagogo has pleaded with the warring parties against the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF)to withdraw their court suits in order to stop FIFA from slamming the country with a big ban.

The sports minister solicited that wife of former chairman of the Nigerian Premier League(NPL) Rumson Baribote and the two other rivaling factions of the NFF,pull out their court cases against the Federation to ensure that FIFA does not suspend Nigeria.

Last week FIFA placed Nigeria on an indefinite suspension,giving the country seven days to reinstate the sacked executives of the NFF or face a bigger ban.

Mrs Baribote on her part is believed to have demanded,that the 15-year ban slammed on her husband be lifted and for him to be reinstated as league chairman and also vice president of the NFF,before she can take her case out of court.

The National Sports Commission(NSC) in a statement released on Tuesday said that they are working hard to make sure Nigeria is not banned by FIFA.

"We want to assure the plaintiffs in court, the aggrieved faction in the NFF and the general public that government will stop at nothing to ensure that Nigeria is not suspended, the NFF is thoroughly sanitized and the complaints of unbridled corruption and highhandedness by the NFF leadership is addressed timeously" the statement read.

"In furtherance of that, we shall immediately set in motion machinery to:

1. To ensure that the parties are persuaded to withdraw the case and suspension is lifted

2. Encourage the Nigeria Olympic Committee to quickly activate the Court of Arbitration in Sports (CAS). This is necessary because the unending circle of disputes, court cases and FIFA suspension threats is caused by the fact that aggrieved parties in the NFF have no where to resort to for redress. FIFA has said that they do not countenance with our national and municipal courts and there is no active Court of Arbitration in Sports. This leaves aggrieved parties at the mercy of the NFF leadership who are the complainants, judge and jury against any member of the NFF who complains against any form of corruption and highhandedness and as such, in often cases, are visited with bans and other forms of punishment contrary to the dictates of fair hearing ad justice.

3. In view of the fact that FIFA also agrees that they abhor corruption, we shall employ every machinery of government to ensure that all the allegations of unbridled corruption over the years is thoroughly looked into and culprits brought to book

4. We want to assure Nigerians that the sole motive of government is to promote the game of football and ensure that sanity prevails in the management of government resources deployed for the promotion of Sports. We believe that at the end of the day, our sports in general and the game of football in particular will come out better and stronger.

The seven-day elapses today,and FIFA is yet to issue a statement on the fate of Nigerian football.

Already,Nigeria is feeling the FIFA brunt,with Linus Mba withdrawn as match commissioner for this weekend's Nations Cup qualifiers between Sierra Leone and Seychelles.