Rumours of Pinnick’s arrest exaggerated as lawyers say there is no crime

January 16 – Attempts to arrest Nigerian FA chief Amaju Pinnick, a strong ally of FIFA president Gianni Infantino, and four other NFF board members on allegations of corruption have been suspended according to local reports.

A section of the sporting media in Nigeria had reported that security agencies were asked to detain Pinnick, who is also a Confederation of African Football (CAF) vice-president. Last Friday, four security operatives reportedly stormed the NFF headquarters in Abuja to effect the arrest warrant on Pinnick and four colleagues.

But lawyers for the federation issued a statement stating that “for the avoidance of any doubt, our clients reiterate most categorically that there are no charges against them existing anywhere, as they have not committed any crimes under the law, whatsoever.

“They maintain that this whole lamentable matter is nothing more than the machination of some persons who are adverse to competing fairly for the leadership of NFF, but desperately wish to be foisted on the federation (NFF) by external forces, who are apparently misled.

“Our clients are, therefore, confident that this conspiracy will surely be defeated in time.”

Pinnick has been embroiled in legitimacy issues throughout his first term in office. In August Nigeria narrowly avoided being thrown out of international football after agreeing to recognise him as the FIFA-approved head of its federation following a bitter internal row.

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