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14 Jul 2018

Nigeria faces ban by FIFA over Chris Giwa

Nigeria faces a potential FIFA ban after  the body on Friday said they would  not accept Chris Giwa as  Nigeria Football Federation president.

Sports minister Solomon Dalung  recently  directed the NFF to  comply with the  apex court judgment  on April 27 restoring  the orders of the Federal High Court setting aside the purported NFF election  on September 30, 2014, which brought in  Amaju Pinnick as the president of the federation.

Giwa, who won in  a parallel  NFF  poll on August 26, 2014,  has since assumed control of the national football house, with moves by Pinnick — who is allegedly targeting a reelection — to stop him suffering a setback in court last week.

 But  FIFA  boss  Gianni Infantino told reporters  at a closing press conference at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow  that  the world football ruling body only recognises  Pinnick as the leader of Nigerian football.

“We have statutes and  we have regulations that there can be no interference in the running of the association,”  Infantino said when asked for his comments on the leadership crisis in the NFF.

“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.”

The Swiss added, “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.”

Infantino expressed his delight at the organisation of the Russia 2018 World Cup, describing it as the “best World Cup ever.”

He said, “Since a couple of years I was saying that this will be the best World Cup ever. It is the best World Cup ever. I would, first of all, like to thank everyone who was involved in the participation and the organisation.”

The 48-year-old lawyer added, “The World Cup has changed the perception of the world towards Russia. I think everyone who has been here for some time has discovered a welcoming country.”

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