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Fifa set to clamp down on Nigerian football

15:48 GMT+4 14/08/2018
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The NFF and GFA are faced with issues of varying degrees, but must get them solved before set dates else face the wrath of the football ruling body

Fifa have handed Nigeria and Ghana stern warnings to fix their issues or they risk being hit with suspensions.

The tussle for power in the Nigeria Football Federation is still ongoing with Chris Giwa and Amaju Pinnick factions yet to settle their differences - a consequence which led to the delay in resumption of the Nigeria Professional Football League.

According to Fifa, Pinnick is the legitimate head of the NFF following his triumph in the election held on 30 September 2014, hence, Giwa must stay off before August 20, 2018.

Failure to abide by the directive would see the country banned from all footballing activities.

However, Nigeria U20 women who have progressed to the last eight of the U20 Women's World Cup will be allowed to carry on provided they make the semi-final.

"Two decisions of the Bureau of the Fifa Council in relation to undue influence in the affairs of the Nigeria Football Federation and the Ghana Football Association have been notified on 13 August 2018," read a statement from Fifa.

"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 Fifa Statutes. The suspension would be lifted only once the NFF, under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick and General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, confirms that it has been given back effective control of the NFF and its offices.

"Furthermore, the Bureau decided that if the suspension of the NFF takes effect, the Nigerian team currently competing in the Fifa U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 will still be allowed to continue to participate in the tournament on an exceptional basis given that the tournament is underway."

Ghana, on their own part, are battling to get their football back on its feet after an exposé released in June by undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, culminating in the resignation of former Ghana Football Association boss Kwesi Nyantakyi.

The government have halted all football-related activities in the country and have a court case meant to cleanse the battered GFA - a decision that does not go well with Fifa who had installed a two-man liaison to run the nation's football.

August 27, 2018 is the date set for the Ghanaian government to withdraw its liquidation suit from the court, else they risk a suspension.

"In Ghana, it is noted that formal investigation proceedings are currently being carried out by the chairperson of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee against Mr Nyantakyi, who has been provisionally suspended by a decision taken by the chairperson of the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee. However, the Bureau of the Council considers that the petition introduced by the Attorney General to the High Court of Justice to start the liquidation process of the GFA constitutes undue influence in the affairs of the GFA in contravention of art. 14 par. 1 i) and art. 19 par. 1 of the Fifa Statutes.

"Under these circumstances, the Bureau decided that if the petition to start the liquidation process of the GFA is not withdrawn by Monday, 27 August 2018 at 12:00 (CET), the GFA will be suspended with immediate effect. The suspension would be lifted only once the above-mentioned petition is withdrawn and FIFA is given written proof thereof."