Posted by By Onochie Anibeze on
Shuabu Gara Gombe assured at the weekend that after he communicated with FIFA President Seb Blatter and spoke, at length, with Deputy Secretary-General Jerome Champagne, the world football governing body would not recognise the NFA board of Ibrahim Galadima.
Shuabu Gara Gombe assured at the weekend that after he communicated with FIFA President Seb Blatter and spoke, at length, with Deputy Secretary-General Jerome Champagne, the world football governing body would not recognise the NFA board of Ibrahim Galadima. Gombe was one of the delegates to the FA congress that stayed in Abuja after the ministry ordered that all delegates should not go to Kano on the eve of the December 29 elections. He is the FA chairman of Gombe state. He spoke with confidence and said that he made serious impact on FIFA.
“In fact, they should even be afraid of us now and cannot take any decision that will favour Galadima board,” he said. What were the things Gombe told FIFA that he was sure would scare them into taking decisions that will support the faction of delegates led by sports minister, Seidu Sambawa who variously wanted Adeh Lumumba and Sani Lulu to head the FA? Gombe told us everything.
“I called FIFA , identified myself and said that I wanted to speak with the President. The receptionist wanted to refer me to other heads but I insisted it was the president that I would speak with. Few minutes later, they said that the president was in a meeting and that I should list the points of what I wanted to discuss with him and that I should call back later in the day. The receptionist took my points. I told Blatter that Nigerians respect him but that he should note that his popularity and that of FIFA is waning badly in Nigeria because of the way they are handling Nigerian FA matter.
I said that one Jerome Champagne is taking side with Galadima and showed that by extending the tenure of the Galadima board without referring to the congress. I also said that we heard that FIFA was likely to take a decision on Nigeria without hearing from our side and that any decision that recognises Galadima would compound the Nigerian situation and that they could take a trip to Nigeria to find out the feelings of the people. In fact I’m sure that they are now afraid and being more careful because a few hours later Jerome Champagne called me and we spoke at length.
I told him everything from the convening of the Kano Congress to the outcome of the elections which we do not recognise. I feel that my call was timely because they were already going to announce a decision sanctioning Nigeria but Dr. Amos Adamu pleaded that they should not ban us as that might affect us in the Nations Cup. Dr. Adamu is making a good case for us. I don’t think that FIFA will announce what may favour Galadima after hearing our own side of the story. I told Mr. Champagne that most of the 32 reported FA chairmen who went to Kano were no FA chairmen of the states but their representatives. I also told him of the security problem in Kano, recalling that commissioner of police in Kano state had written, saying that Kano was not safe.
He told me that it was not true because FIFA has a letter from the same commissioner saying that there were no security problems in Kano and that I could make other points and forget the security problem that I was talking about. He referred me to the NFA statutes and said that the January 6 Extra Ordinary Congress defaulted and I told him that we set aside some clauses in the statutes to react to an emergency situation. We spoke on many other things and he asked if I read the Friday column of Onochie Anibeze in Vanguard on why government candidates failed in the election.
He said he read the article on Vanguard’s website and found it interesting and revealing. I told him that Onochie was a respected sports journalist in Nigeria and that people respect his views and that I had nothing against what he wrote but that we are not talking about why government candidates failed but whether due process was followed and that Galadima was not the right person to head our FA. I feel that it was after listening to me that they now decided to hear from CAF in Cairo and they may take a decision in Cairo. Dr. Adamu has left for Cairo where he will also make our position clearer to FIFA. I think that we are on the road to getting FIFA on our side.”
Dr. Adamu is gunning for the vacant seat in FIFA for Africa. A ban on Nigeria may affect his candidature.
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