Anambra FA Crisis: NFF Call Minister’s Rebuff, Insists On November 2 election
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has rejected the Minister of youth and sports development’s advice to hands-off on the Anambra State Football Association Election and allow the reelected Ifeanyi Ubah to continue his mandate, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports had declared its support for the reelection of Senator Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah as the Chairman of Anambra State Football Association.
The Ministry made this known in a statement titled “Resolution of the Ministerial Meeting on the Anambra State Football Association”.
According to the statement dated 15th October, 2020 and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Gabriel Aduda, after a meeting that had representatives of the Nigerian Football Association (NFF), the Secretary of the Anambra State Football Association and its members, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and his delegates, and the Chairman of the Anambra State Sports Development Commission in attendance, the Ministry clearly reviewed facts presented by various camps involved and found no error in the declaration of Senator Ubah as the winner of the virtual election conducted by the Anambra State Football Association in line with the guidelines of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and consequently, it advised the NFF to uphold the result of the election and channel grievances (if any) to the electoral committee in line with the NFF statute and extant laws.
The Ministry further revealed that the meeting observed that the issue of amendment to the guidelines for elections into states football association is an exclusive right of the congress of the state football associations in accordance with Article 20 of the NFF statutes and that the said article has been tested by the NFF in its June 18, 2019 directive to the Katsina State Football Association.
The meeting further observed that when the Anambra State Football Association was stopped from conducting the election physically, it summoned an extraordinary congress meeting the following day and as a result, conducted a virtual election that had 98% of congress members in attendance, and that Senator Ifeanyi Ubah contested and won the position of Anambra State Football Association Chairman in the virtual election.
However, arising from a virtual meeting Tuesday, the Executive Committee Borad of the NFF insisted that appointment of a caretaker committee to overs the Anambera State FA affairs was statutory stating that it would go ahead with the election scheduled for November 2, 2020.
“While appreciating the advice of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on the issue of the Anambra State Football Association, the Executive Committee noted that it was not only bound by Association Football protocols and the principles of fairness but also by the supremacy of the NFF Statutes.
“It noted that the constitution of a caretaker committee is very much in order, and that in line with the NFF Statutes and furtherance of the protocols and principles mentioned, the process for election of the Anambra State FA Board had to go ahead as planned.
“The Executive Committee recalled that the emergence of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, who had written the petition to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, as Chairman of Anambra State FA, arose under similar circumstances of an election conducted by a caretaker arrangement,” NFF said.
The Executive Committee further reiterated that the NFF Statutes have adequate provisions for any aggrieved party to ventilate any complaints they may have.
Recall that the Electoral Committee headed by Jude Anyadufu conducted elections of the Anambra State Football Association on August 2nd. The Election produced Ifeanyi Ubah as the winner and the Electoral Committee presented to him a Certificate of Return.
The NFF on August 3rd rejected the results of the election and set up a Caretaker Committee to conduct another election on November 2nd, 2020.
The NFF action to set up a Caretaker Committee is against its own Statute which they confirmed in their letter to the Katsina Football Association that FIFA, CAF, and NFF frowned at setting up a Caretaker Committee in an election matter. The letter was dated April 17th, 2019.
The second paragraph reads in part, “That FIFA, CAF, NFF, and Katsina FA Statutes do not contemplate or provide for Caretaker Committee.”