World’s Football governing body, FIFA have given Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) until Monday, August 20 to return football administration to the legitimate board led by Amaju Pinnick or risk an indefinite suspension from all football activities.
In a communication sent to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after the Bureau of FIFA Council met on Monday, FIFA stated unequivocally that such suspension will only be lifted once it is certain that Pinnick and the Federation’s General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi “have been given effective control of the NFF and its offices.”
“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,” read the statement on FIFA website.
“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 statement added.
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The NFF leadership crisis which has grounded all domestic footballing activities in the country has lingered on for over a month and it took another twist over the weekend when the Chris Giwa led group announced the sack of the Federation’s General Secretary Sanusi.
A suspension will affect all Nigerian teams playing at major competitions including CAF continental club tournaments and FIFA championships. However, FIFA stated that any ban would not affect Nigeria’s women Under-20 team, the Falconets who are currently at the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
“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,” added the statement.
Nigeria are not the only African country issued the ultimatum by FIFA as Ghana have also been warned to desist from their process of liquidating the Ghana FA if they want to avoid a ban.