Fuludu, Ikpeba petition FIFA, Buhari over emergence of new Delta FA board
Begin legal battle to reclaim mandate
The emergence of ex-Nigeria international, Kenneth Nwaomucha as chairman of Delta State Football Association in an election conducted in Asaba on Tuesday, may have ignited another legal battle in the nation’s football, as the incumbent chairman, Edema Fuludu and his vice, Victor Ikpeba have vowed to pursue the matter to ‘any length’ in court.
Fuludu and Ikpeba, members of Tunisia ’94 Super Eagles squad, were elected as chairman and vice chairman of Delta FA last year, but the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the chairman of Delta Sports Commission, Tony Okowa, kicked against the electoral process.
The new election on Tuesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, produced Nwaomucha as chairman, while former Warri Wolves boss, Steve Cole, emerged as vice chairman.
Some members in the Fuludu-led DFA board had allegedly secured a court injunction to restrict the NFF and Delta Sports Commission from conducting a new election, but they went ahead with the polls on Tuesday.
Speaking in separate interviews with The Guardian yesterday, the duo of Fuludu and Ikpeba said they would go to any length to stop what they termed as ‘illegality’ in Delta Football.
“In the first place, the matter was already in court,” Fuludu said in a message to The Guardian. “Now, our petition is already with Daniel Amokachi (Special Assistant on Sports to President Mohammadu Buhari). The Sports Minister is also aware of the issue. Four South-south chairmen do not recognise their election, and will not allow them (Nwaomucha and his members) to sit in congress of NFF, else there will be a walk out. We have sent our petition to FIFA,” Fuludu stated.
On his part, Ikpeba, a member of Super Eagles’ squad that got to the second round at U.S. ’94 FIFA World Cup, said: “We won’t allow this illegality in Delta football to stand. We will fight till the end.”
In his speech on Tuesday after the election, Nwaomucha said: “I offer myself to serve as chairman of this great association with a promise that grassroots football and the state league will be made viable and back to reckoning, as it has been dormant for sometime now.
“There is no faction in Delta football. Football is not a one-man game, you can see that the board is made up of five ex-players so we will reach out to the aggrieved side and bring them together to work for a common goal. We will also have a stakeholders conference soon to harmonize our football.”