World football governing body FIFA says Nigeria faces an international suspension if it fails to heed a call to rid itself of undue influence in the affairs of the Nigeria Football Federation.
An official release from FIFA reads “In line with article 16 paragraph 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 article 14 paragraph 1 i) and article 19, as well as article 14 paragraph 1 a) of the FIFA Statutes.”
There have been renewed crisis in Nigerian football following a directive in July from the nation’s Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports development to the NFF, to comply with a judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on April 27, 2018.
The judgement restored the orders of the Federal High Court, setting aside the purported election into the Executive Committee of the NFF held on September 30, 2014 that produced Amaju Pinnick as the federation’s president.
A group led by Chris Giwa took over the NFF Secretariat following the directive, only to be eventually removed by operatives of the Department of State Services.
A back and forth on the matter has now seen an official intervention from FIFA and the world body says a suspension if imposed by the 20th of August would only be lifted 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.
FIFA also added 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.