Nigeria might have just averted FIFA ban, as the Federal government just released a statement backing the Amaju Pinnick led Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led Executive against that of factional President, Chris Giwa.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President Professor Osinbajo on Media and Publicity Mr. Laolu Akande in a statement released a few minutes ago, said the Federal Government has written to the World Football Governing body FIFA as to their stand on the leadership of the NFF.
Laolu in his statement said the Government has affirmed their support and backing of the Amaju Pinnick led NFF executive and have conveyed this message to FIFA. He also said that the government will continue its support to both FIFA and NFF alongside other stakeholders at resolving disputes in a timely manner.
The notice to ban Nigeria from footballing activities due to what they tagged ‘undue government interference’ was supposed to have elapsed today and the ban slammed on Nigeria today by Monday 12-noon 20th, August 2018, but with this move by the Federal government, Nigeria and NFF might have just averted a National (or International) embarrassment, as the government after their letter to FIFA recognizing Pinnick, also pledged to uphold NFF treaty obligations to the world football body.
The statement as released by Mr. Laolu Akande reads:
“The FG has already conveyed to the football governing body its firm position recognizing Amaju Pinnick-led NFF as the current & only NFF Exco. Govt will also continue to work with all relevant stakeholders involved to resolve a dispute in a timely manner. FG is upholding NFF treaty obligations to FIFA”
The statement by FIFA earlier this month was that the Amaju Pinnick was the only FIFA recognized NFF President, despite all the court orders and siege by security operatives, the letter reads that only when Pinnick can confirm to them that he has been given all control of the executive and in charge can Nigeria avert a ban.
“In line with art. 16 par. 1 of the Fifa Statutes, the Bureau of the Fifa Council decided that if by Monday, 20 August 2018, at 12:00 (CET), the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) offices are not handed back to the legitimate NFF executive committee under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who was duly elected on 30 September 2014, the NFF will be suspended with immediate effect for contravening art. 14 par. 1 i) and art. 19, as well as art. 14 par. 1 a) of the Statutes.” The statement ends.
This move by Government recognizing Amaju Pinnick’s led-NFF will now put to rest the leadership tussle that has almost crumbled football in Nigeria. The Government seem to have acted according to the directives of FIFA and we are now awaiting Amaju Pinnick’s response as to where things stand now.
Again, government refused to act before now, until a threat was issued to ban the Federation before they decided to act accordingly…clearly those days of our abracadabra are still very much with us…