July 17 – Nigerian authorities are digging in their heels over who runs the national FA despite a warning from FIFA president Gianni Infantino that the country risks being thrown out of international competition.
The Nigerian government recently sacked NFF chief Amaju Pinnick and replaced him with Christopher Giwa following a court ruling which effectively overthrew the Pinnick-led regime.
Infantino says Nigeria will be suspended unless they comply with strict regulations over government interference in the affairs of their national association. He says Pinnick remains NFF president but Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, insists Giwa will stay in charge as declared by a Supreme Court judgment on April 27.
Dalung told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the ministry was operating under the rule of law and obeying the court ruling and that he has not been contacted by FIFA.
“FIFA has not written me that they recognise one person over the other and you know government does not operate on rumour, government is administration,” said Dalung. “The leadership in NFF, I think is very categorical. The Federal High court in Jos has ruled orders. I, as a co-defendant, was served with the order, ordering me to recognise Giwa as the president.
“That is the order against me and I have done that, the order to the Inspector General of police is that he should go and put Giwa in office. The Attorney-General of the Federation has done his job. So we are living under the rule of law and we are following the rule.
“If the court says today, Giwa is not the president of NFF and I’m served with a court order, I will obey. Don’t forget, when Pinnick sued Giwa in the court of appeal and got a judgment, I obeyed the judgment for over two years.”
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