FIFA has not accepted a proposed meeting by Nigeria’s sports minister Solomon Dalung to hold talks with the world football governing body over the ongoing leadership crisis in the African country’s football federation.
Chris Giwa has been locked in a battle over the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with Amaju Pinnick who is recognised by FIFA in the past four years.
The tussle has seen the crisis still lingering civil courts in Nigeria and even taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but the country’s sports minister who is also a lawyer contacted FIFA directly and was hoping for an audience with his 17-man delegation which was turned down.
The minister contacted FIFA in a letter dated August 14 via the Nigerian embassy in Switzerland.
FIFA in its response also stated that Dalung’s delegation also included Giwa, “currently under a worldwide ban, in accordance with the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee dated 10 January 2017 to extend the five-year ban from taking part in any kind of football-related activity imposed by the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) Disciplinary Committee on 12 May 2016.”
“In this respect, while we are aware of the seriousness and urgency of the matter, we regret to inform you that we are not in a position to respond favourably to your request for an appointment with the FIFA leadership. In fact, the FIFA President is indisposed during the proposed period,” a part of FIFA’s letter dated August 16 stated.
The world football governing body also took the opportunity to remind Dalung that the decision by its bureau of council to suspend Nigeria from world football would come into effect from August 20 should the country fail to allow Pinnick’s NFF carrying out its duties.
“In this context, we would like to seize this opportunity to remind you that as per the decision rendered by FIFA’s Bureau of the Council on 13 August 2018, in the event of the NFF offices are not handed back to the legitimate NFF Executive Committee under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick by Monday, 20 August 2018 at 12:00 (CET), the NFF will be suspended with immediate effect for contravening binding obligations 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 they were given back effective control of the NFF and its offices,” FIFA said.
On October 4, 2010, FIFA suspended Nigeria “with immediate effect on account of government interference.”
If the west African nation is suspended by August 20, the Super Eagles’ next 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game against Seychelles will be in jeopardy and it will also affect Enyimba currently campaigning in the CAF Confederation Cup.
© The Predictor NG