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FIFA Threatens To Ban Nigeria Over Pinnick/Giwa Saga [Update]

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The world football governing body has threatened to ban Nigeria from its organisation over the lingering imbroglio involving the presidency of Nigeria Football Federation [NFF].

Speaking during a press conference in Russia on Friday, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino said expressly that the football body recognised only Mr. Amaju Pinnick as NFF president.

Infantino therefore urged the Nigerian government and football stakeholders to resolved the issue as soon as possible to avert FIFA hammer.

Currently, Nigeria stands at risk of FIFA ban after the Federal High Court in Jos, Plateau State, failed to deliver judgement on the case between Pinnick and his challenger, Mr. Chris Giwa.

The case, which has lingered for four years, was expected to be resolved at the court on Tuesday but was adjourned to September25.

After presiding over Nigeria’s football body for four years running, the Supreme Court, in its ruling two weeks ago, gave the mandate to Mr. Giwa.

In response to the judgement, Giwa, with the backing of the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalong, who provided him with security escort, assumed office.

On his part, Pinnick filed a new motion and challenged the ex parte order the court granted Giwa, which failed hearing was fixed for Tuesday.

Pinnick motion followed after the Supreme Court judgment which ordered him to comply with the lower court’s order that compelled him to vacate the office for Giwa.

In the meantime, the apex court had on April 27, rejected the sack of Pinnick’s NFF Executive Committee.

Reacting, NFF assured that there was no reason to get worried about the Supreme Court decision on the 2014 elections into its Ex-Co.

Pinnick, through his counsel, Festus Keyamo (SAN), approached the court with two motions demanding the vacation of the order granted Giwa and others, pending the determination of an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case.

Last month, FIFA had replied Giwa, saying it will only recognise Pinnick.

FIFA responded to Giwa’s application through his lawyers, seeking to enforce various court orders he claims to have in his favour in order for him to take over NFF leadership.

FIFA, however, reminded him that he was permanently placed under ban from handling any FIFA authorised body or activity.

As matters stand now, Giwa is not recognised by FIFA as he is serving a ban.

In another development, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), on July 6, appointed Pinnick as its First Vice-President.

CAF announced the appointment in a statement on its website.


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