- As NPL suffers indefinite postponement
The crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) further deepened on Wednesday with the Chris Giwa-led Executive Committee appointing Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme as Acting General Secretary of the nation’s football house.
This follows corruption allegations levelled against Dr Mohammed Sanusi, who served as General Secretary under embattled Amaju Pinnick’s team recently sacked by the Jos High Court.
Ikpeme’s appointment was announced late Tuesday night in Abuja after an extended meeting of the Federation’s Executive Committee that took place inside the NFF Secretariat.
Rising from its meeting the Executive Committee reportedly directed Dr Sanusi to step aside as investigations into allegations of financial sleaze have strongly supported a case of compromise and abuse of due process against him.
With the Executive Committee already working on the appointment of a substantive General Secretary soon, Chairman, Communiqué Drafting Committee of the meeting, Otunba Dele Ajayi, said the new NFF leadership has also restored match bonuses and allowances to all age group teams in the country.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Otunba Ajayi stated that being new in office, the Executive Committee is working hard at settling down and correcting inherent flaws in the system, adding; “We have to collate records and when we are done with that, we will let you know.”
On the restoration of match bonuses and allowances for all age group national teams, Otunba Ajayi however explained that the decision does not cover the immediate payment of arrears and other outstanding commitments.
According to him, “The board will meet to decide whether to pay outstanding debts to the teams or continue on a clean slate.
“We will later fashion out a way to pay the outstanding debts and we are starting again to pay allowances to the age grade teams.”
He listed the affected teams to include the U-23 national team; Flying Eagles; Golden Eaglets; Falconets; and the Flamingoes.
Maintaining that the new NFF is in tune with the programmes and preparations of the various national sides for continental and World Cup qualifiers, Ajayi assured that they will all enjoy the needed financial and moral support to succeed in their different assignments
The Communiqué further stated thus: “The board notes the activities of NFF for the rest of the year which include the Flying Eagles qualifiers against Mauritania, as well as the Falconets World Cup preparation and tournament.
“We have also noted the Super Eagles Nations Cup qualifiers against Seychelles in September and the Golden Eaglets African Nations qualifier in Niger Republic in September”.
Similarly, the communiqué captured the Executive Committee’s decision to postpone by two weeks the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) earlier slated to resume on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
The Committee’s decision however conflicts with the announcement on Tuesday by the League Management Company that the Premier League has been suspended indefinitely due the leadership tussle within the Football House.
Meanwhile, despite the threat of an imminent ban from the World Football governing body, FIFA, the Giwa-led Executive has reportedly scheduled an emergency congress for Friday, July 27, 2018.
It stated that the meeting is being arranged as part of moves by stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the recurrent crisis in the nation’s football