FIFA Rejects Talks with Nigeria as Giwa Stands Firm


FIFA has rejected a proposed meeting with Nigeria’s Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Solomon Dalung, to discuss problems in the country’s football federation (NFF).

It denied the request saying its “leadership, in fact, the FIFA president is indisposed during the proposed period.”

Football’s world governing body has given Nigeria until 20th August for Chris Giwa to vacate the NFF offices.

Giwa, however, is showing no signs giving up on his claims to be president.

His lawyer Ardzard Habilla insists FIFA cannot ban Nigeria as it needs to be sorted out internally by the country’s judiciary.

Habilla told journalists that the threat by FIFA was a calculated attempt to subvert the constitution of the country and an act of neo-colonialism.

“Do we take it that FIFA laws are superior to the judgment of the highest court in our land – the Supreme Court, and has FIFA elevated itself before the constitution of Nigeria?

“When we went to Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), it said that the issue before it is not the validity of the election and that it is the domestic law of Nigeria that should determine the validity of an election or elections.

“FIFA is bound by the decision of CAS and that is why the Giwa-led board went to court to determine the validity of those elections.”

A recent court case recognised Giwa, who is currently serving five-year ban by FIFA as the NFF president.

Giwa has been protesting the result of elections held in September 2014 that saw Pinnick installed as NFF president.

FIFA also pointed out that Giwa was part of the proposed delegation and that he is serving a “five-year ban from taking part in any kind of football-related activity.”

The letter from FIFA also reiterated that in “the event the NFF offices are not handed back to the legitimate NFF Executive Committee under President Amaju Pinnick by Monday, August 20, the NFF will be suspended with immediate effect for contravening binding obligations 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 they are given back effective control of the NFF and its offices.”

A ban from global football could see Nigeria being unable to play their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles the weekend of the 8th September.