FIFA Ban Looms On Nigeria

Nigeria is risking a ban by FIFA after Chris Giwa failed to step down as president of the football federation by Monday’s deadline.

A suspension could affect Nigeria’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo on Saturday, and South Africa four days later. FIFA has rejected the appointment of Giwa, which came at a controversial Nigerian Football Federation ‘election’ last week, which split the governing body.

Football’s world governing body said it does not recognise the executives’ election, but added “it appears the ministry of sports has”. “Should there still be persons claiming to have been elected and occupying the NFF offices at midnight on Monday, September 1, 2014, we will bring the case to the appropriate FIFA body for sanctions, which may include the suspension of the NFF,” said the FIFA statement on Friday.

FIFA accepted the decision of the majority congress, at which 39 of its 44 members resolved at an ad hoc general assembly, for executive committee elections in Nigeria to take place on September 4.

The disputes within the NFF have already led to a FIFA intervention, international suspension and the enforced return – twice – of outgoing NFF president Aminu Maigari. However Giwa, has played down the FIFA threat. “We will present our position to FIFA and they will be convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that we adopted the correct statutes before organising the election,” said Giwa.

The crisis caused by the purported election has meant league matches will not be played across the country as scheduled this weekend after referees, club managers and players announced a boycott until the situation was resolved.


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