July 16 – Nigeria will be kicked out of FIFA unless they comply with strict regulations over government interference in the affairs of their national association, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has confirmed.
In what appeared to be an orchestrated coup, the Nigerian government recently sacked NFF chief Amaju Pinnick (pictured) and replaced him with Christopher Giwa following a court ruling which effectively overthrew the Pinnick-led regime.
A four-year-old dispute between the two factions was expected to have been resolved at the Federal High Court hearing last Tuesday but was adjourned to September 25.
Pinnick has been the NFF president since 2014 but a Supreme Court ruling two weeks ago gave Giwa the mandate, and he has since assumed office.
Pinnick was working in an official capacity during the World Cup and Infantino stated in no uncertain terms that Nigeria will be banned if the federation leadership continues to be compromised.
“The Nigerian football federation has president and his name is Pinnick,” Infantino told reporters. “The situation is very clear. We have statutes, we have regulations that there can be no interference in the running of the association.”
“For this reason, Pinnick is working here in an official capacity. He is the president recognised by FIFA, he is the president elected by the members of the Nigeria football association and that is the end of the story.
“If any external body thinks that they can change the situation, then of course Nigeria will risk being banned as it has happened with other countries because we have processes that need to be respected. It’s a very clearcut and simple case. We have made this very clear.”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com