July 18 – The resumption of Nigeria’s domestic league has been postponed indefinitely amid a leadership crisis that has caused total gridlock with a FIFA ban imminent.
Earlier this month, Chris Giwa, founder of a rival faction in the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), seized control insisting he was elected NFF president in a disputed vote back in August 2014. However, FIFA recognises Amaju Pinnick as the Federation’s chief and Gianni Infantino has warned the Nigerian authorities to expect a ban if they do not comply with the regulations over government inference.
According to local reports, Giwa himself is currently under a worldwide ban even though he is backed by Nigeria’s Sports Minister Solomon Dalung.
Domestic football was due to resume today after taking a break during the World Cup but has been postponed “based on the current adverse circumstances in the administration of football in the country as a result of which sponsors, partners and service providers have expressed strong concerns and are reviewing their involvement in the league.”
Pinnick represented Nigeria at the World Cup and in a dangerous snub to FIFA and Infantino, Giwa told the News Agency of Nigeria that the threatened ban was “a creation of the media; FIFA has not written to lodge any complaint to us.”
Further describing Infantino’s threat as a “mere fallacy orchestrated by the press”, he added: “There was an election and there was a litigation on which the Nigerian judiciary made a pronouncement. I am not the judiciary. I only went there to seek for justice. We have a system in Nigeria. Anyone with any grievance against that system must go through the same system to ventilate his concerns.”
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