The Nigeria Football Federation has been involved in a power tussle since September 30, 2014, when Amaju Pinnick was declared the winner of the NFF Presidential elections which took him to the top seat in the Glass House.
This is because Chris Giwa – the man who ran against Pinnick – did not accept the results and went on to challenge them in the local courts which ruled in his favour. But Fifa still sees Pinnick as the legitimate football chief.
Giwa recently took over the NFF Headquarters in Abuja while Pinnick was at the World Cup and this has spurred action from Fifa, who have given the country until August 20 2018, to withdraw all court cases and reinstate Pinnick as the rightful NFF head. Failure to do this means that all football-related activities under the FIFA umbrella will seize at all professional levels of football in Nigeria.
It’s not the first time Pinnick and Giwa have gone back and forth on this issue in the four years since the election but now with Fifa bringing the warning, it poses a grave danger to football in this country.
Fifa rules state that football-related matters cannot be tried in local courts but only through the global governing body of which, if concerned parties are not satisfied with the organisation’s judgement, take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the ultimate verdict. Interference from any government is forbidden and can result in a football ban. In essence, Fifa laws supersede that of the judiciary of respective member states.