Kogi United and Confluence Queens are in a dilemma as the clubs risk being expelled from participating in the national football leagues and competitions organised by the Nigeria Football Federation this year.
The ban dangling on Kogi state’s football teams was traced to the latest interference of the state’s sports ministry headed by Honorable Sports Commissioner Idris Musa in the FA activities.
The sports ministry, in a letter, signed by Mary Atodo, its director of admin and finance ordered the sacking of FA secretary Augustine Ogunmola which takes effect from Friday, March 13, 2020.
Ogunmola was appointed as the FA secretary in December 2015 at the stance of its chairman Umarr Sulieman Isah and congress’ approval after the demise of Shuaibu Samuel Ibrahim in April 2014.
In 2018, the retirement of Ogunmola from civil service fueled the tussle for the soul of the secretariat of the Kogi State Football Association between the football body and the sports ministry.
In article 20 Section 5, sub-section C of the NFF 2010 statuses which state that, “the secretary shall be by appointment by the Executive Committee, only the chairman can recommend the appointment and dismissal of the secretary to the Executive Committee.”
However, former commissioner Salisu Ogu bowed to superior argument following a directive from the Nigeria Football Federation, asking it to adhere strictly to the provision of its 2010 statuses on the appointments of state FA secretary.
In the wake of the development, sports commissioner Musa also nicknamed Oando explained that the decision was a product of the recommendation of a seven-man committee on the matter.
“I set up the committee to look into the matter and the decision was based on the report submitted. I am not doing this to cause any issue but I will also not support injustice,” he told SavidNews.
Since the issuance of the letter, the Kogi FA has refused to confirm receipt of the notice or comment on the matter when contacted.
In light of the above, sources at the NFF secretariat admits knowledge of the development but still await an official notice from the state’s football body before taking action on the matter.
“We are in support of the state football associations to operate independently as our affiliates on matters like this,” a top official at the NFF, who spoke on the ground of anonymity to SavidNews.
“We are aware of the situation but yet to be communicated officials about the situation in Kogi. Trust me, when we are officially informed, then we will make a decision on the matter.
“For now, we only recognize and accept communications from Mr Augustine Ogunmola as the substantive secretary of the Kogi state Football Association as recommended.”
In the meantime, the chances of Kogi state clubs, including Kogi United, Confluence Queens and FC Lokoja competing in the national league and football tournaments hangs in a balance.
Recalled it took the intervention of the new commissioner to ensure the state-owned clubs get registered for this year’s Aiteo Cup.
SavidNews understands discussions are in progress to ensure the matter is resolved amicably to avoid football ban on state teams.