Maigari was not sacked by the FG – Danagogo

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Last week thursday, erstwhile chairman of Nigeria Football Federation, Aminu Maigari was sacked with other executive committees by court order
Minister of Sports, Tamuno Danagogo, on Wednesday assured football-loving Nigerians that the world football ruling body, FIFA, does not have any reason to sanction the country on the recent removal of the erstwhile Chairman, Nigeria Football Federation, Aminu Maigari.

He said the world body could not sanction the country because Maigari’s removal was not as a result of government interference in the affairs of the federation.

He explained that the decision to remove Maigari was taken by a legitimate NFF congress.

Danagogo spoke with State House correspondents shortly after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.

He said, “Nigeria is safe, I can tell you that. What FIFA wants is for the right things to be done and there should be a high level of independence in what is happening.

“So far, if you look at what has happened, I think government has been very fair, government has done everything possible not to unduly interfere.

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“As a government, we have constitutional duty to maintain law and order. When factions in football family begin to dispute, we have a duty to see that we don’t allow them kill themselves, we don’t allow them destroy the buildings where they are operating.

“Beyond that, we have not done anything. What we have done, is to see that law and order is maintained.”

The minister recalled that when he returned to the country from Brazil, the Maigari-led NFF wrote to inform him that there is a court order saying that they are not the legitimate executive council of the NFF and that a civil servant has been appointed or directed to take over.

He said by the letter, he was urged to intervene to maintain law and order.

Danagogo said what the government did was to maintain law and order.

He said the group of FA chairmen and stakeholders, who also did not want the Maigari government to continue, called their congress and passed a vote of no confidence on that executive council.

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He said FIFA must have handed down the ultimatum it handed down to Nigeria on the matter with the belief that Maigari’s removal was government action.

The minister added, “Ordinarily, the tenure of the Maigari-led executive has almost come to an end by July, August. And it is a routine, even in our national politics, that once we get to election season, there is always disputation between parties who are interested.

“So, what you are seeing is the normal election conflicts within NFF. Maigari exco had tried to set up electoral machinery to ensure they are re-elected and majority have come together and say no.”

The minister said the performance of the Super Eagles in the ongoing World Cup could not be described as a disgraceful performance, although it was less than the expectations of Nigerians.

“We expected we should go further than that. But I think we have learnt our lessons from this outing. We are beginning to look inwards. We are going back to the drawing board. I can assure Nigerians that we will come out better and stronger in our next outings,” he said.

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He added that President Goodluck Jonathan had directed that the Federal Government should pick the hospital bill of the three players that sustained injury during the tournament.

He said the three of them were free to seek medical attention in any part of the world.

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