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Published On: Wed, Aug 15th, 2018

FIFA to suspend Nigeria on Monday if Giwa remains in office

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By Albert Akota

The Bureau of the FIFA Council will next Monday August 20 suspend Nigeria from engaging in football activities if the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) offices are not handed back to the legitimate NFF executive committee under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who was duly elected on 30 September 2014.
Nigerian football politics took a new dimension last Monday, when Chris Giwa resumed at the offices of the Nigeria Football Federation in Abuja, as the president of the football body.
Giwa has been locked in a leadership tussle with the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board, after an order from a Jos High Court stopped the election which brought Pinnick to office on September 30, 2014 in Warri, Delta State.
According to a media statement on the official website of FIFA yesterday, the NFF will be suspended with immediate effect for contravening art. 14 par. 1 i) and art. 19, as well as art. 14 par. 1 a) of the FIFA Statutes.
The statement also stated that the suspension would be lifted only once the NFF, under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick and General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, confirms that it has been given back effective control of the NFF and its offices.
Furthermore, the Bureau also decided that if the suspension of the NFF takes effect, the Nigerian team, the Falconets currently competing in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 will still be allowed to continue to participate in the tournament on an exceptional basis given that the tournament is underway.
FIFA however said whatever decision it would take would not affect the Falconets, Nigeria’s under-20 women team, who are currently in France participating in the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
The Glass House has been occupied recently at different times by both the Chris Giwa and Pinnick factions of the federation’s Congress
This occupation has however been with the aid of men of the Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) at such times.
While Giwa’s occupation was said to be “at the instance of the courts’’, that of Pinnick was said to be “on the orders of Presidency’’.
In line with art. 16 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes, the Bureau of the FIFA Council decided that if by Monday, 20 August 2018, at 12:00 (CET), the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) offices are not handed back to the legitimate NFF executive committee under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who was duly elected on 30 September 2014, the NFF will be suspended with immediate effect for contravening art. 14 par. 1 i) and art. 19, as well as art. 14 par. 1 a) of the FIFA Statutes.
The suspension would be lifted only once the NFF, under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick and General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, confirms that it has been given back effective control of the NFF and its offices.
The NFF has been engulfed in a leadership crisis since 2014 when two elections were held into the Executive Committee of the federation.

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