By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
Following the Face-off between the Anambra State Sports Development Commission, ASSDC and the Anambra State Football Association, ANSFA, the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Anambra State Chapter has called for a ceasefire and plead with both parties to sheathe their swords.
A release signed by the Chairman of the body, Chimezie Anaso and the Secretary, Ikenna Nwokedi, PhD and made available to newsmen in Awka read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to the faceoff between the Anambra State Sports Development Commission, ASSDC and the Anambra State Football Association, ANSFA over the propriety or otherwise for the FA to ban Chijioke Onyedika, a former Secretary of ANSFA and staff of Anambra State Sports Development Commission from football activities in the state.
“Ordinarily, we would have restricted ourselves as sports writers, to the reportage of unfolding events but we are reacting, not only because we were copiously copied in the letters by both the Government Institution and the Football Association but as critical stakeholders in the Anambra sports sector.
“We have seen in the Commission’s letter that it has powers to drive sports development at the grassroots and amateur levels. We have also seen in the FA’s letter that FIFA owns football and regulates the game.
“Having viewed this unsavory trend, we the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN Anambra Chapter makes the following calls: Immediate and total ceasefire by all parties on the subject matter.
“An end to all incendiary and inflammatory comments either directly by the parties involved or through their proxies.
“The need for sports activities to continue in the state without this type of avoidable face off now or in the future.
“A return to status quo including withdrawal of ban and threats by the parties concerned.
“Roundtable dialogue between parties to reopen the symbiotic relationship and amicable communication channel between the Sports Commission and FA.
“SWAN expresses its willingness to mediate in the impasse with a view to finding amicable resolution of vexed issues.
“Lastly, SWAN appeals for an amicable and harmonious administrative environment for progressive development of sports and warns against actions or tirades capable of undermining growth in the Anambra sports sector”, the statement read.
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