A former Nigerian international, Moses Kpakor, has thrown his weight behind members of the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) who are fighting the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over statutes amendment.
The players’ Union has been at the forefront of the struggle for the 2010 NFF statutes to be amended for more football stakeholders to be accommodated.
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In order to compel the past leadership of the NFF to open up the space, PFAN had obtained a Federal High Court Order in January 2022 to stop the football federation from holding its Annual General Assembly.
However, after so much persuasion, the body went back to vacate the court order for the 2022 AGA to be held in Lagos but PFAN was excluded from the meeting.
And when the former leadership of the NFF decided to organise the 2022 election without amending its statutes, PFAN again went to court to obtain an ex parte injunction stopping the Sports Ministry and the NFF from holding the election.
However, following the stay-of-execution order obtained by the NFF from the Court of Appeal, the election was held last Friday in Benin where Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau emerged as the next NFF president.
But the aggrieved members of PFAN are still spoiling for war and there is palpable tension in the air.
Although some Nigerians feel members of PFAN led by Harrison Jalla and Rumson Baribote are fighting for their selfish interests, Kpakor believes they are fighting for a just cause and their grievances should be addressed without further delay.
“They have a very good case. They want the NFF statutes amended to accommodate all the relevant stakeholders so they must be listened to. How can you have 37 chairmen of football associations voting at NFF elections?
“It is one body like the players’ union so they too should have one vote. Are they more than the players? It is not done anywhere. All the relevant stakeholders should be accommodated.
“You can’t administer football without players being involved. Even if FIFA bans us, life will continue. We have been banned more than three times but nobody died.
“People shouldn’t threaten us with a FIFA ban. Let us do the right thing. Football is played by players. It is not something that is done in the office. It is the playing that is football, not the administration,” opined the former BCC Lions and Abiola Babes’ midfielder.