World football governing body, FIFA have snubbed a request by Nigeria’s sports minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung for a meeting with the global soccer authority’s president, Gianni Infantino, over the long drawn crises rocking football in the country.
Dalung had sought a one-on-one meeting with Infantino to press home his stand on issues affecting Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), but was politely informed in a reply to his written request for audience that the FIFA president is indisposed during the period of the proposed meeting in Zurich, Switzerland.
This comes at a point Nigeria faces a race against time to avoid a ban from global football, after FIFA gave the country until Monday, August 20 to handover the administration and offices of the NFF to Amaju Pinnick and the general-secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi.
In a bid to dissuade FIFA, Dalung wrote to the global body on Wednesday, August 15, through the office of the Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland, seeking to meet Infantino with members of the NFF reconciliatory committee and Ambassador Chris Giwa, head of the de facto board.
However, in a swift reply to Dalung’s request, FIFA disclosed in a statement signed by the body’s secretary-general, Fatma Samoura that the warning by the Bureau Council to ban Nigeria on Monday will go ahead if the country fails to do as requested.
The FIFA reply read in part: “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.”