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FIFA, NFF, our regular courts

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FIFA doesn’t want to be entangled in politics of countries, so it recognises and deals directly with National Federations/Associations affiliated to it.


Accordingly, FIFA wants such affiliates to be RECOGNISED by the Laws of their countries, but not to be CREATED by them.

That is why FIFA won’t want the football governing body in Nigeria to be established by an Act of the National Assembly.

Rather, like FIFA itself in Switzerland, the football governing body in Nigeria should be INCORPORATED AS AN N.G.O, LIMITED BY GUARANTEE UNDER PART C OF THE COMPANIES AND ALLIED MATTERS ACT (CAMA). That way, it will get DUE RECOGNITION by our Laws.

Of course, among other benefits would be the EASE TO AMEND ITS DULY REGISTERED FIFA-APPROVED STATUTES by its CONGRESS without reference to the National Assembly as would be the case for a body established by an Act of the National Assembly. The process of incorporation would entail filing the FIFA-approved Statutes as its ARTICLES AND MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION, with properly DEFINED ROLES for STAKEHOLDERS (which by definition will not exclude Government) so that such PARTICIPANTS IN THE RUNNING of the football governing body in Nigeria would not be regarded as INTERFERING THIRD PARTIES.

The FIFA-approved Statutes would also include a provision VOLUNTARILY SUBJECTING the football governing body in Nigeria to the EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION of an ALTERNATIVE SPORT-RELATED DISPUTES RESOLUTION BODY IN NIGERIA (like the Court of Arbitration in Sport -CAS- in Switzerland). No doubt, criminal matters would be outside the purview of such body.

Noteworthy, however, is the fact that even in such sport-related disputes, only matters of JURISDICTION, FAIR HEARING, and PUBLIC POLICY may be entertained by our regular courts (as it is with CAS in Switzerland).

Regarding the setting up of an Alternative Sport-related Disputes Resolution Body in Nigeria (like CAS in Switzerland), since 25th May, 2012 the Committee appointed by the NOC of which I was Chairman had submitted a comprehensive Report articulating the legal framework to establish such body in Nigeria.

The implementation of that Report would end the embarrassing cycle of taking sport-related disputes to our regular courts and incurring the wrath of FIFA.

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