Nigeria’s Presidential Letter Forestalls FIFA Ban

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A letter from the federal government of Nigeria to world soccer governing body, FIFA has been cited as a timely move to advert a widely expected ban from all football matters for the country.

Feelers at the weekend indicated that the letter to FIFA had the weight of The Presidency, in a move to prevent the ban that was expected to commence on Monday.

In the letter, FIFA was assured that far-reaching and effective steps had already been taken by the country to finally stop crises rocking Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

General interpretations of the letter, which was sent to FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland on Saturday, is it that the federal government of Nigeria had agreed to accept statutes of global soccer, as they affect running the game and obligations of members.

Consequently, a formal declaration to that effect was issued on Monday, with an official confirmation that recognised Amaju Pinnick as the authentic NFF president.

This comes after FIFA threatened to ban Nigeria from international football if government continued its interference in the game’s administration as noticed in recent actions of Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung.

On Friday in Jos, a Federal High Court hearing the suit between Giwa and the NFF failed to vacate the ex-parte granted Giwa on June 5, which gave him the impetus to declare himself as NFF president. The trial judge adjourned the case indefinitely.

However, a credible source said the Federal Government was able to convince FIFA that it has no intention of breaching the protocol it agreed to before joining the body.

The FG was also able to prove that it was working to correct false impressions created by recent events in the country’s game, especially the leadership tussle between Jos-based Chris Giwa and the NFF board headed by Amaju Pinnick.

The source also revealed that top government officials are working to ensure permanent peace in Nigerian football, as the events of recent months have thoroughly embarrassed the Federal Government.

He stated: “The Federal Government has accepted to work with FIFA to restore peace in Nigerian football. So, FIFA will not ban the country as it threatened.

“We expect a positive pronouncement from FIFA at the end of the deadline given to us, because we have assured them of our readiness to play by the rules.”

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