FIFA gives Nigeria final deadline or face suspension from international competitions
In a letter issued on Tuesday, FIFA said that the Nigerian soccer federation headquarters must be handed back to the elected leadership by Monday, August 20, 2018 or the country will be suspended from international competitions.
This comes after the Federal Government of Nigeria ordered the current board of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to vacate their office in respect to a ruling by the Supreme Court.
This was contained in a statement from the office of the Minister for Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, which also ordered Chris Giwa who was voted as President of the NFF in a congress that wasn’t recognized by FIFA to take over the running of football in Nigeria.
A suspension means Nigerian national teams won’t be allowed to take part in any international competitions, although FIFA said the Nigerian women’s under-20 team currently competing at the World Cup in France would be able to continue in that tournament “on an exceptional basis” because it has already started.
The letter reads, “Two decisions of the Bureau of the FIFA Council in relation to undue influence in the affairs of the Nigeria Football Federation and the Ghana Football Association have been notified on 13 August 2018.
“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.
“Furthermore, the Bureau decided that if the suspension of the NFF takes effect, the Nigerian team 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.”