Harrison Jalla, a member of the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria, the group seeking the amendment of the Nigeria Football Federation statutes, in an exclusive chat with The PUNCH says state FA chairmen are not qualified to seek elections, adding that it will distract their primary assignment in their states
The players union had gone to court to ask for an amendment of the 2010 NFF statutes, which led to Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on September 15 stopping the NFF elections scheduled for September 30 in Benin City, Edo State.
The court, presiding over the matter in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1376/2022, also ruled that all parties should maintain status quo and adjourned further proceedings till October 31.
Jalla, Victor Baribote, Austin Popo, and the registered trustees of the National Association of Nigeria Footballers (trading under the name of Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria) are the plaintiffs in the suit.
PFAN is advocating for equal representation for all the five statutory bodies that make up the NFF as it relates to voting rights and representation on the NFF board.
Jalla told The PUNCH, “We feel strongly that as FA chairmen, immediately you signify interest that you are coming to contest (for a place on the NFF board), you resign your appointment in the state as chairman.
“You cannot be there (state) and at the same time at the centre, football will suffer in your state. Interest at the centre is affecting football development at the grassroots level.
“It’s just like what President Muhammadu Buhari did by telling ministers seeking to contest elections or who have a political ambition to become President to resign.”
Jalla added that the present NFF constitution needed amendment for proper inclusion, before any election could hold.
“The most important thing now is to have a proper inclusion, so we have a board that reflects all the statutory bodies that make it, and then we can start building from there.”