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2 Aug 2018

NFF crisis: Five-year ban on Giwa lifted, domestic leagues ordered to resume

The Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has taken a key step in ending the ongoing tussle over its leadership, by lifting the bans handed to self-acclaimed President of the Federation, Chris Giwa and a few others.

Arising after their meeting shortly before the 2018 Extra-ordinary General Assembly held in Benin City on Thursday, the Executive Committee reeled out these developments, subject to ratification by the Assembly.

Also Giwa FC, owned by Chris Giwa, was handed provisional readmission to the second tier of Nigerian football league.

Giwa FC were relegated from the elite league in 2016, after a series of breach to the framework and organisational conduct of the league.

The leagues (NPFL, NNL, NWFL, NLO) which have been on hold since the Supreme Court judgement, have been directed to recommence for the end of the 2017/2018 season.

Nigeria’s various football leagues have been put on hold ever since a Supreme Court judgement – ostensibly mandating the Amaju Pinnick-led Executive board of the NFF to step aside while the re-trial of Chris Giwa’s court case heard at the High Court in Jos was enforced.

“The Congress mandated the Executive Committee to ensure the commencement of all football programmes, including Leagues, Aiteo Cup, Zenith Bank U13 & U15 Future Eagles Championship, among others, and directed the relevant NFF standing committees to appropriate support in this regard,” read a part of the Communique.

The current four-year term of the Pinnick-led executives is expected to elapse next month with a new election scheduled for the end of September. However, the Assembly held that the date was no longer feasible. Additionally, persons previously under ban are also expected to participate in the elective congress.

“The Congress as part of the wider reconciliation efforts, has mandated and approved for the NFF Electoral Committee to review the ongoing NFF electoral processes, guidelines and reopen the process for any qualified interested stakeholder to participate, including those that may qualify after meeting the set conditions of taking football matters out of ordinary courts as outlined above,” added the communique.

The NFF, in May 2016, slammed a five-year ban from all football-related activities on Chris Giwa, Sani Fema, Muazu Suleiman, Yahaya Adama and Effiong Johnson for taking football matters to domestic courts.

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