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Nigeria risk Fifa ban over Supreme Court order implementation

7:05 AM GMT 03/07/2018
Nigeria fans
The country’s football has been thrown into fresh leadership crisis after the sports minister endorsed a court verdict

Nigeria football has been thrown into another round of leadership chaos after the Amaju Pinnick-led administration was directed to step down as the president of the country's football body.

His directive came from sports minister Solomon Dalung following a letter from the Attorney-general and minister of justice Abubakar Malami on a Supreme Court verdict made on April 27, 2018 after the Federal High Court in Jos set aside Pinnick’s September 30 election, which was subsequently appealed.

This is happening few days after the Super Eagles crashed out of the World Cup in Russia, having bowed 2-1 to Argentina in their final group tie which they only needed a draw on August 26.

While urging all parties involved to comply with the order, Dalung said that: “the NFF election held on August 26, 2014, under the leadership of Amb Chris Giwa be given recognition pending the hearing and determination of the motion on the notice filed in this case that the purported ban of the executive committee elected same day is unconstitutional, null and void.”

Meanwhile, factional leader Giwa and his board members assumed office at the NFF headquarters, Abuja in the company of many security agents few hours after the sports minister endorsed the court verdict earlier on Monday.

The seemingly endless battle for the soul of the game had begun since August 2014 when Giwa was initially elected into the widely sought-after office, but he failed to earn FIFA endorsement.

In the afterward, Pinnick claimed victory in a rerun election, getting FIFA president acknowledgment despite some alleged flaws in the elective congress held in Warri, hence Giwa's legal battle.

Subsequently, NFF president Pinnick, who spoke through his lawyer Festus Keyamo, described the directive of the sports minister as null and void, stressing that Giwa does not have any ‘locus standi’ and the Federal government ‘cannot have any dealing with them on any football matters’.

With the latest leadership crisis, Nigeria risk of facing a possible FIFA ban, thereby, capable of disrupting the country’s participation in the FIFA U20 Women's World Cup in August plus youth qualifiers and clubs’ competitions.