Gianni Infantino, FIFA President, on Friday reiterated that Nigeria risk worldwide ban from football over the continued third party interference in the affairs of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Chris Giwa is claiming to be the president of the NFF on the basis of a Jos High Court interim order. He has taken over the affairs of the body on the order of Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, who asked the NFF to obey the order.
Dalung instruction is premised on a letter from the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, asking Giwa to take over the affairs of the NFF.
But Infantino on Friday during a media briefing in Moscow warned against a third party interference saying, “The NFF has a president and his name is Amaju Pinnick. He has been elected. We have been very clear about that sometime ago.
“I learnt the issue has come up again. The situation is very clear. We have statues, we have regulations. It’s very clear. That can be no interference in the running of the associations.
“Pinnick is working here (World Cup in Moscow) in official capacity…he is the president, he is the president for FIFA, the president elected by the members of the NFF.
“And that is the end of the story. If any other external body feels it can change the story, Nigeria risks being banned like it happened in other countries.
“We have processes, democratic processes that need to be respected. It is a very clear cut and simple case as far as we are concerned,” Infantino concluded, “and we have made this very clear.
“Maybe you can help us transmit it if we didn’t come across very clear enough.”
Giwa, who has been handed a ban by FIFA, claimed that he was elected by the NFF Congress in August 2014.
FIFA refused to recognize his election, pointing to third-party interference, and when GIwa appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) agreed with the governing body and dismissed his challenge.
Giwa subsequently took the issue to the Nigerian Federal court where he obtained a temporary order asking the Nigerian sports ministry to recognize him as the duly elected president pending the determination of the main case.
A court hearing earlier this week failed to resolve the issue as the case was adjourned to September 25.
However, a FIFA ban will invoke the principle of prohibited contacts as stated in Art. 79 of the FIFA Statutes.
In that wise, the Falconets will forfeit their ticket to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in France next month while the September fixtures of the Super Eagles in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations shall be forfeited apart from Enyimba being thrown out of CAF Confederations Cup. Also Nigeria risked being thrown out of the Golden Eaglets, Flying Eagles continental qualifying series.