|Join Nairaland / Login / Trending / Recent / New|
Stats: 1061226 members, 1231610 topics. Date: Monday, 20 May 2013 at 02:54 PM
|Nigeria Ready To Work With Fifa by honeric01(m): 12:25am On Jul 03, 2010|
Sports Minister Isa Bio says Nigeria are prepared to work with FIFA to ensure that no regulations are violated as the country seeks to clean up its football.
But he also made it clear that the government will put the interests of the Nigerian citizenry first.
"Nigeria will do everything possible to take the interest and sovereignty of Nigeria first and foremost and if that is in conformity with FIFA rules, so be it but if it is not in conformity with FIFA rules I think the sovereignty of Nigeria and interests of the people is most paramount," Bio said on Thursday in Abuja.
On Wednesday, President Goodluck Jonathan stunned the football world when he authorised the withdrawal of the country's football team from international competition for two years in the wake of a poor World Cup performance.
A day later, the government set up an 11-man Caretaker Committee to replace the Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation.
"What we want to do is to get people who by their experience will restructure and reorganise our football and start right from the grassroots, invigorate the clubs and encourage more football academy where we can get young men to replace the present ones," Bio said. "That takes time and experience.
"Government is trying to liaise with FIFA in order to get these things done without necessarily violating FIFA rules."
Bio described the rot in the country's football as a cancer which required surgery.
"You cannot have cancer and continue to live with it because you don’t want to spill blood; we are ready to spill blood to remove the cancer. And so be it."
Nigeria went to the World Cup without a single player from the country's domestic league, and Bio insists the government wanted to redress that.
"Nigeria is so passionate about sports and we are relying on players from foreign clubs. We should have players that are home-based.
"We are trying to have a deliberate policy whereby we can encourage our local league to be very attractive so that we do not have to rely on foreign-based players all the time and when they are not available we continue to wait until their football seasons are over," he said.
Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health