By: Gracious Akujobi
The World Soccer Ruling Body, FIFA, has said that former chairman of the Nigeria Premier League Board, Rumson Baribote has no case against the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The former Premier League boss had petitioned FIFA, challenging the NFF for changing name of Nigeria Premier League (NPL) to Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) without congress ratification.
He also complained about the manner he was removed from office by the NFF and requested the world body’s intervention.
Consequently, FIFA requested NFF to provide defence and also carried out investigations after which it discovered that Baribote had in the past filed a case against the NFF in a court of law in Nigeria, contrary to the provisions of FIFA statues Article 68, paragraphs 2 and 3.
In a reply letter to the complainant, Baribote dated 11 September 2103 and copied to NFF and CAF, the world soccer ruling body dismissed the complaint and requested NFF to further discipline anybody found to have filed a case against it in a court of law contrary to FIFA statues.
The FIFA letter signed by Secretary General, Jerome Valcke is reproduced below:
Chief Rumson Victor Baribote
Barebi international Sports Promotion Ltd
Zurich, 11 September 2013
Your Compliant Against the Nigeria Football Federation
We refer to your correspondence dated 4 September 2013, as well as correspondence from your legal counsel dated 5 September 2013 of which we were in copy. In particular, your correspondence requested the intervention of our offices and your counsel’s correspondence brought to our attention case being allegedly carried out by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) against you.
As you are aware, our offices requested the NFF on 30 July 2013 to provide a detailed report in order for our offices to get a clearer picture of the current situation. Subsequently, NFF provided us with reports as requested dated 6 August 2103 and 29 August 2013. In this connection, we would like to point out that there is and never was any case open against NFF as requested in the correspondence from legal counsel. This is incorrect and we would like to make it clear that our offices simply requested a report from NFF on the current situation.
We now turn to your initial request for intervention and inform you that following a comprehensive review of your correspondence as well as the reports submitted by NFF, we deem that this matter is internal and falls under the responsibility of the NFF. Accordingly, please be advised that this matter does not come under the remit of FIFA and we are unable to intervene as requested by you.
Moreover, we note from our review of this matter that there has been in the past (and may be in the future) actions filed before the ordinary court of law in Nigeria. In this regard, please be informed that pursuant to Article 68, Para 2 and Para 3 of the FIFA statutes, recourse to ordinary courts of law is as a general rule, prohibited and NFF shall impose sanctions on parties that fail to respect the aforementioned obligation.
We thank you for your kind attention to the above and trust to have your understanding.
Federation Internationale De Football Association