Nigeria faces impending FIFA ban over the sack of the president Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Ammaju Pinnick.
A high court ruling last week resulted in Ammaju Pinnick, the FIFA recognized president being fired. The ruling also allowed for Chris Giwa to fill in the position.
The football body warned the NFF that they could be sanctioned if the court ruling is implemented.
“The decision of the Federal High Court in Jos, if implemented, would likely be considered as interference in the internal affairs of the NFF and the case would be brought to the highest authorities of FIFA for consideration of sanctions, including the suspension of the NFF,” the letter read in part.
“All members associations have to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties. In addition and according to article 68 of the Fifa Statutes, recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the Fifa regulations.
“Furthermore, it is the duty of each member association to ensure that these provisions are implemented by its members and possibly take sanctions against those which fail to respect these obligations.”
Chris Giwa who has in time past employed legal action to get his way back into Nigeria’s football affairs was called out by FIFA.
“We would like to stress that the plaintiff in question already filed an appeal in relation to the same matter with the highest judicial Sport authorities, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and that said appeal was dismissed by the CAS on 18 May 2015.”
The NFF considered FIFA’s statement by appealing against the high court ruling, stating that Ammaju Pinnick remains the NFF president. Furthermore, Giwa and his supporters were denied access to the NFF headquarters in Abuja by the Nigerian police on Monday.
If the FIFA ban does play out, Nigeria would be saying good bye to not just the Olympics but the 2018 World Cup. The latter’s qualifying draw takes place in June.