Two ex-internationals, Friday Ekpo and Bright Omokaro, have urged the Ministry of Sports and individuals involved in the ongoing Nigeria Football Federation crisis to tread with caution to avoid FIFA ban.
The ex-internationals gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Saturday.
NAN reports that FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, had said on Friday said that the world football body recognises only Amaju Pinnick as NFF President and would not accept any outside interference in the organisation’s affairs.
Infantino, while responding to questions at a news conference in Moscow on Friday, said Pinnick was duly elected and in accordance with FIFA rules.
Ekpo, a former Super Eagles player, said that FIFA statement on the ongoing crisis showed that a ban is inevitable if the issue is not urgently resolved.
He said that such crisis which had become a regular occurrence in the country’s football over the years had done a lot of damage to football development.
“This ongoing confusion or crisis in Nigeria football is dragging the sport back.
“FIFA has spoken and as a member of the body, we should comply with the rules and regulations governing FIFA if we don’t want to be suspended,’’ he said.
The former player said that Pinnick should be allowed to end his tenure, saying it was the only solution to the ongoing quagmire.
Omokaro, also told NAN that the crisis should be worked out amicably to avoid the wrath of FIFA.
He said that the suspension of the country from FIFA would cripple football in the country, urging all parties involved to take precaution.
“Issues like this require diplomacy and this statement attributed to the FIFA President shows that they are fully aware of the drama going on.
“The funny part of it is that those in the middle of the crisis have never played football, so they are after their own selfish interest.
“If anything goes wrong, history will judge them but if they want the best for the sport, they must resolve it as quickly as possible,’’ he said.
Chris Giwa and the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board have been involved in a leadership tussle, after an order from a Jos High Court had foiled the election which brought Pinnick to office in 2014.
NAN reports that the crisis took a new dimension on July 2 when Giwa resumed at the NFF office in Abuja, as the president of the body after the Supreme Court’s judgement in his favour.