Super Eagles’ captain, Joseph Yobo, has made a passionate plea to warring factions in the country’s game to sheathe their swords and unite in peace.
On Monday Fifa slammed an indefinite suspension on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) due to government interference, after becoming frustrated with events in the West African country.
Nigeria’s ban from international football leaves their weekend’s 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea in Conakry in doubt.
And this latest setback has left the Nigerian captain seeking an everlasting resolution to the crisis that has dogged the country since the team’s elimination in the first round of the World Cup in South Africa in June.
“The players are gradually coming to camp in preparation for the Guinea game when the news broke; it’s a sad one for the players.” Yobo said.
“We just hope everyone can simply come together and resolve this crisis once and for all for the progress of the country.
“The players are relatively calm hoping things can quickly be resolved because a suspension preventing the game on Sunday would have negative effect.
“Football brings us together as a country; we should not let it separate us as a strong nation.
“After the World Cup disappointment, we are gradually making effort to usher in a new joy and happiness and this [Fifa suspension] is the last thing we need.”
The world governing body said the suspension follows a bid by Nigeria’s sports minister, Ibrahim Bio, to restart the league without relegation from the previous season.
The decision by the National Sports Commission (NSC) to force the NFF secretary-general, Musa Amadu, to stand down from his position did not also go down well with Fifa.
A court action barring the newly-elected members of the NFF also drew the ire of the world governing body. The NFF board led by Aminu Maigari has not been able to operate because a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos ruled that the elections of August 26 that brought him to power were null and void.
The National Association of Nigerian Footballers (Nanf), a faction of the players’ union in the country, dragged the newly-elected board of the NFF to court for allegedly defying a court order not to proceed with the polls of August 26. Subsequently, Fifa committee member executive, Dr Amos Adamu, NFF president Maigari, his vice-president, Mike Umeh as well as acting secretary-general of the NFF, Musa Amadu, were hauled before the court for contempt. The action means the country’s national team will not be able to participate in the ongoing qualifiers for the African Nations Cup until the matter is resolved.