Former Minister of Sports Alhaji Bala Ka’Oje has said that Nigeria has yet to domesticate FIFA laws in spite of the letter of adoption written to FIFA by the Federal Government.
Ka’Oje’s comment is coming on the heels of controversy trailing the domestication of the laws in Nigeria by factional groups in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Ka’Oje mentioned that he signed a letter on Feb. 23, 2007 when Sani Lulu’s was NFA Chairman in which FIFA was assured of Nigeria’s adoption of its statutes.
He said although the letter was written to FIFA, the move in itself did not make the process complete.
“You can remember decree 101; there are many issues, interference and so many other things but that particular decree was supposed to be domesticated, meaning that it should pass through the National Assembly so that it can come out as a law but that has not been done.
“But the general agreement that we are prepared as a country to abide by the rules of FIFA is true because I signed a letter to Sepp Blatter when I was the minister.
“They responded to it that they have agreed with our stand, pending the domestication of the rules of FIFA in Nigeria; the minister is right, that aspect has not been passed into law.’’
It was reported that the Minister of Sports Solomon Dalung had on May 19 during a meeting with the House of Representative Committee on Sports said that FIFA laws were yet to be domesticated in Nigeria.
In its reaction, the Nigeria Football Federation led by Amaju Pinnick issued a statement noting that the laws have been domesticated following the then Minister of Sports Bala Ka’Oje letter to FIFA adopt the laws.
The laws when domesticated would prevent members of the football family from taking their matters to a civil court.
The laws among other things state that football matters could only be brought to FIFA or the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne Switzerland.
According to Ka’oje, until the National Assembly passes FIFA laws, such laws might not be binding on the country as operational instrument for football administration.
“Unless National Assembly pass it into law, that is when we know that it’s domesticated; it’s like a treaty that a nation enters into.
“All these treaties are packaged and sent to the National Assembly for passage into law so that Nigeria now is bounded by such treaty.
“That FIFA something (laws) is just like a treaty that we have agreed to abide by all those rules that are stated out in the FIFA law.’’