Ex-International, Paul Yusuf, protests disqualification from NFF presidential election
Canada-based former Nigerian goalkeeper, Paul Yusuf, has protested his recent disqualification from contesting the presidency of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) by the Electoral Committee. The election is slated for September 30, 2022 in Benin.
He said he learnt of his disqualification from social media, as no official from NFF reached out to him on reasons the decision was taken.
The Plateau-born former goalkeeper of Bendel United, NNB FC, Rangers International FC and Super Eagles, said he obtained the nomination forms at the NFF office, Wuse Zone 2, in Abuja, as directed and duly filled and submitted them after paying the required fee. It added that his form was endorsed by his Plateau State FA Chairman, president of the Nigerian Coaches Association and the president of Nigerian Players Union.
He expressed shock and disappointment when some concerned Nigerians called him to tell him that he has been disqualified. “How can that be?” he asked.
“The NFF screening committee did not communicate in any shape or form to me. They have all the relevant mailing and email addresses to reach me, as detailed in the forms earlier submitted. So, why did they not get across to me personally?” he queried.
Yusuf asked: “If Nigeria is contesting to host a world championship with other countries and the news came from social media that, Nigeria has been disqualified without calling, emailing or sending a letter to the NFF, what will the NFF secretariat do? You know the NFF will not take the news seriously.”
Yusuf further said hearsay from different sources is not part of due process and as such “communicating directly with the concerned person would have been the only way. I did not apply for the position indirectly or through other means. While it might be good to send to the media, it would have been best to first link up with the applicant. The same message would have gone to the concerned to read and comprehend to enable him put up an appeal or contest it.”
He appealled to the electoral committee to rescind the decision to disqualify him.
Yusuf is the fourth ex-international to declare interest in the position. Others are Benedict Akwuegbu, Peterside Idah and Jonathan Akpoborie.