Nigerian football spared FIFA ban
FIFA announced Monday Nigeria will no longer be suspended over a long-running court case focusing on the disputed leadership of the federation of one of Africa’s football powerhouses.
World football’s governing body said it had received confirmation that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) had restored control of the body and its offices to its president Amaju Pinnick and secretary-general Mohammed Sanusi.
“In view of these circumstances, FIFA deems that the conditions set by the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council have now been met and consequently the suspension of the NFF will not take effect,” FIFA said in a statement.
“FIFA will continue to closely monitor the situation in order to ensure that FIFA’s rules and regulations are fully adhered to,” it added.
FIFA made its ruling after a spokesman for acting President Yemi Osinbajo said Pinnick and his executive committee were recognised as the leadership of football in Nigeria.
Last week, FIFA threatened to suspend Nigeria over the leadership dispute that dates back to 2014.
Nigeria put itself on a collision course with FIFA in July when the government’s sports ministry directed the NFF to comply with a court order to overturn Pinnick’s election and recognise Chris Giwa as its head.
Giwa first claimed to have won election to the top job.
However, FIFA did not endorse the vote and threatened suspension unless it was re-run.
Pinnick won the re-run, although the vote was also deemed to have been flawed. Giwa then launched court action over the result.
A FIFA ban would have immediately meant that Nigeria would not honour a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Seychelles next month, while they would also have been disqualified from the under-17 African zonal qualifiers in Niger, which kick off on September 2.