Fifa turns down Nigeria’s Zurich visit request for ban negotiations

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In the face the looming wrath of the football ruling body on Monday, the federal government’s latest move have hit the rock

The world football governing body, Fifa has rejected the request of Nigeria’s delegation to visit Zurich for negotiations in their latest move to avoid the imminent international suspensions.

Nigerian football is on the brink of earning a global ban on August 20, 2018 if it fails to reinstate Amaju Pinnick as the substantive NFF president.

As part of efforts to avert the ban, acting president Yemi Osinbajo held closed-door meetings with sports minister Solomon Dalung, rivals Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa on Wednesday.

On the same day, the presidency wrote Fifa through the Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland, demanding a meeting with the Fifa leadership with a ministerial team led by Dalung, including faction leader Giwa.

In a response on Thursday, FIFA's Secretary General Fatma Samoura reinstated their support for Pinnick after turning down the nation’s visit request, citing varying reasons.

“We refer to the correspondence dated 15th August 2018 from the Ambassador of Nigeria in Switzerland, H.E. Baba Madugu, the contents of which have received our full attention,” she responded.

“In the respect, while we are aware of the seriousness and urgency of the matter, we regret to inform you that we are not in a position to respond favourably to your request for an appointment with the FIFA leadership.

“In fact, the FIFA President is indisposed during the proposed period. Moreover, we would like to recall that one member of the proposed delegation, Mr Chris Giwa, is currently under a worldwide ban, in accordance with the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee dated 10 January 2017 to extend the five-year ban from taking part in any kind of football-related activity imposed by the Nigeria FootbaIl Federation’s (NFF) Disciplinary Committee on 12 May 2016,” she continued.

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“We would like to emphasise that we normally communicate with and through our member associations, in this case, the NFF under its legitimate President Amaju Melvin Pinnick.

“Consequently, we would be grateful to have any future correspondence be routed through the NFF directly.”

With time fast running out, the country have just three days left to sort out the leadership crisis at hand in the move to escape the looming suspension from all footballing activities.

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