FIFA Suspension: CAF postpones Nigeria Eaglets, DR Congo clash

CAF cited Nigeria’s suspension and ongoing efforts to resolve the dispute as reason for postponing the qualifier.

The Confederation of African Football, CAF, on Thursday postponed the 2015 African U-17 Championship qualifying match between Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, from July 20 to July 27.

CAF’s decision comes as a relief to the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, whose officials await communication from FIFA on the suspension clamped on the country on July 9, due to a court order barring the Aminu Maigari –led Executive Committee from functioning.

There were media reports that that the suit against the Maigari-led executive was withdrawn on Wednesday by the plaintiff, wife of owner of Nembe City football club, Rumson Baribote.

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Mr. Baribote to confirm if the suit has been withdrawn, he would not confirm but promised to call back. Court workers in Nigeria have been on strike, which had stalled the progress of the case.

Also, even if a plaintiff withdraws or intends to withdraw a suit, by Nigerian law, it still has to be struck out by the judge handling the case for the withdrawal to be valid.

However, officials of the NFF said on Thursday that they communicated the ‘withdrawal’ of the suit to FIFA, and asked that the suspension be lifted since the principal reason for the clampdown had been met.

CAF cited Nigeria’s suspension and ongoing efforts to resolve the dispute as reason for postponing the qualifier.
In its letter to the NFF, the Federation Congolaise de Football Association (FECOFA), FECAFOOT, and the match officials, CAF declared that it was granting the grace of seven days with high hopes that the suspension on
Nigeria would be lifted before then,

“Following the suspension of Nigeria Football Federation by FIFA few days ago, please be informed that CAF is hopeful that an end to this crisis will be found soon.

“However, in view of the upcoming match scheduled between DR Congo and Nigeria U-17 national teams on July 20th, 2014 in Lubumbashi, we wish to ensure that the African youth players maintain their chance of playing
competitive football for their respective countries.

“As such, please be informed that CAF decided to postpone the above mentioned match from July 20th to July 27th, 2014,” the African football body said.

The match is the first leg of a 2015 African U-17 Championship qualifying fixture, and is Nigeria’s first step towards defending the world title she won in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Venue of the match remains TP Mazembe Stadium, Lubumbashi, and kick-off is 3.30 p.m. Congo time (2.30 p.m. Nigerian time).


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