NFF Crisis: FIFA gives Nigeria July 8 deadline

NFF President, Aminu Maigari

“FIFA will not recognize any person or organ not elected in compliance with the NFF statutes…”

The world football governing body, FIFA, has given, Tuesday, July 8 deadline to Nigeria to reinstate the sacked Nigeria Football Federation board ousted by a Plateau State Court or risk heavy sanctions for the action.

FIFA frowned at the development in which a Plateau High Court sitting in Jos granted an Order of Interlocutory Injunction restraining the president of the NFF, Aminu Maigari, the Executive Committee members, as well as the NFF Congress from running affairs of Nigerian football forthwith pending the determination of a Motion on Notice before the court.

FIFA in a letter to Nigeria also said they were aware of the arrest of the sacked President of the NFF Maigari who has now been released by security operatives.

“The NFF has been asked to relay FIFA’s position to the relevant authorities and inform them that if the aforementioned NFF officials are not fully reinstated by Tuesday 8 July 2014 the case will be referred to the appropriate FIFA bodies for sanctions, including the potential suspension of the NFF” a strong worded-letter from FIFA read in part.

Aware of the Sports Minster’s appointment of a senior member of the civil service, Lawrence Katken, as Acting Secretary General of the NFF, FIFA said they will not recognise same.

“FIFA will not recognize any person or organ not elected in compliance with the NFF statutes (article 17, par 2 and 3 of the FIFA Statutes) and therefore it will not consider the appointment made by the Minister of Sports. An elective Congress has been duly convened by the NFF for 26 August 2014 and only decisions and persons elected then will be considered legitimate” the letter from FIFA read.

FIFA was also clear on the dire consequences a ban/suspension will amount to for Nigeria as it will mean that any team from the country (including clubs) cannot have any international contact.

The world football governing body also added that the ban will amount to cutting off of all developmental aid to Nigeria and officials of the football federation.

However with a planed congress in Abuja on Saturday afternoon, many hope there will be a way out of the log jam.

The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, summoned an emergency meeting of its General Assembly for Saturday.

The chairman of state Football Association chairmen, Effiong Johnson, said in Abuja on Friday evening that the meeting will start at 1p.m. at the Bolingo Hotel and Towers, Abuja.

All the chairmen and secretaries of the Football Associations of the 36 states and Abuja are expected at the meeting.

Also expected are representatives of the affiliate bodies such as the leagues, coaches association, referees association and players’ union.

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