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Nigeria 'regrets' Martins mix-up

Posted by By Osasu Obayiuwana on 2005/08/04 | Views: 1003 |

Nigeria 'regrets' Martins mix-up


Nigeria FA chairman Ibrahim Galadima has told BBC Sport that he "regrets the administrative lapse" which has raised questions about striker Obafemi Martins' real age.

Nigeria FA chairman Ibrahim Galadima has told BBC Sport that he "regrets the administrative lapse" which has raised questions about striker Obafemi Martins' real age.

A website built for the Nigeria FA stated that the Inter Milan player was born on 1 May 1978, when the date of birth on his passport is 28 October 1984.

"I can understand why the player is angry and frustrated with us," Galadima told BBC Sport.

"The date of 28 October 1984 is what we have in our official records and that is what is correct.

"We have tried to reach him but we have not been able to speak with him yet.

"But he should have contacted us before going to the press."

"I want to acknowledge that the NFA has its shortcomings and we have lapses, which are obvious.

"But that is not to say that people should not go deeper to see what is happening."

Galadima claimed the NFA's website has not been handed over to them and is in the control of the consultant that was given the contract to build it.

"The building of the website was commissioned by the former NFA secretary-general Taiwo Ogunjobi.

"But the website has not been handed over to us. The password [giving us access to it] is still with the person that built it, as he says he has not been paid for his work.

"On the 25th of October 2004, I issued a memo to Ogunjobi and the issues relating to the website were raised.

"He replied on the 28th of October and said the lack of funds had stopped the completion of work.

"And up till now, the situation has not changed," Galadima said.

Ogunjobi made guarded remarks when BBC Sport asked for his own version of events.

"If the chairman said what he did, that is unfortunate.

"I cannot make any categorical statement on the whole affair until Friday," he told BBC Sport.

Meanwhile, Martins told BBC Sport said he is 'appreciative' of the NFA's official statement made to put his age beyond doubt.

Story from BBC SPORT:

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