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Feature Opinion Update

Gusau Should Concern Himself With Legitimacy Of His Election, Not ‘Uniting’ Players’ Union

NFF President Ibrahim Gusau (PICTURED right with Sports Minister Sunday Dare) has been widely portrayed as a man who is focused, sincere and whose word has always been his bond.

But this has not been the case as it concerns the recent move by the NFF under his watch to “reconcile” the players’ unions.

The recent meeting involving the NFF President, Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu and top officials of the PFAN Task Force was to address the more crucial issue of the case between the NFF and the players’ union at the Appeal Court Abuja Division.

PFAN has challenged the jurisdiction of the Appeal Court to stay an order granted by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that the NFF Elections should not go ahead as planned on September 30, 2022, in Benin City.

Should the Appeal Court rule it does not have jurisdiction to stay this injunction, the matter will revert to the lower court and that could lead to thecancellation of the NFF Elections that produced Gusau as successor to Amaju Pinnick.

This is by far a more serious matter than the wranglings within the PFAN, which led to the creation of the ANFPU sponsored by Pinnick.

In his quest to hang on to power for as long as he could, Pinnick did everything to ensure that there was no united players’ union because that is one viable opposition to a power-drunk head of a football federation.

He has previously supported a breakaway faction of the NANF in the understanding that a united players’ union could make life difficult for him as NFF President.

And so when PFAN came together as a united union, it was understandably not through the intervention of Pinnick’s NFF, and when this union began asking the right questions, Pinnick came up with a rival group led by Chikelue Iloenyosi.

The players’ union is a statutory member of Nigeria football.

It is independent of the NFF even though it is affiliated to the football federation.

In the event of any internal dispute, the union has its various in-house resolution mechanisms.

And so if the group led by Iloenyosi has any misgivings, the best approach is to explore these dispute resolutions and not to get the NFF to mediate.

Therefore, Gusau should stop chasing shadows all in a name of trying to bring peace in the players’ union when the more serious issue of the legitimacy of his election ought to be on the front burner.

His predecessor was so divisive that Nigeria now has as many as four competing supporters’ clubs.

“Peace maker” Gusau could do well to see how the NFF unite these groups into that one supporters’ club that has done the country proud at various international tournaments over the years.

The players will on their own resolve whatever differences they have and unless he is not being mischievious, Gusau should rather be concerned the Election that brought him to power is not annulled in court.


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