Factional President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Chris Giwa, has reacted with a protest after the five-year worldwide ban placed on him by FIFA on Tuesday.
The world football governing body handed a “worldwide sanction” on Giwa and four other persons from taking part in football-related activities for five years.
The Jos-based football financier as well as Muazu Suleiman, Yahaya Adama, Sani Fema and Effiong Johnson had their earlier suspensions by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) disciplinary committee extended to the world over “breaches of the NFF Statutes and the Fifa Code of Ethics.”
A statement on FIFA’s website read, “FIFA can today (Tuesday) confirm the worldwide extension of sanctions imposed by the Nigerian Football Federation’s Disciplinary Committee on 12 May 2016 against the officials Christopher Giwa, Muazu Suleyman, Yahaya Adama, Sani Fema and Johnson Effiong for breaches of the NFF Statutes and the FIFA Code of Ethics.
“In accordance with art. 136ff of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the Chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend the five-year ban from taking part in any kind of football-related activity imposed on the five officials to have worldwide effect. The relevant member association as well as CAF has been duly notified of the chairman’s decision.”
However, a statement signed by Habila Ardzard, lawyer for Giwa’s NFF board, said the ban extension by FIFA was orchestrated by the Pinnick-led NFF board.
It read: “The purported ban resulted from the legal actions the Chris Giwa-led NFF board instituted in the court of law to sustain its mandate given to it on August 26, 2014. We find the said correspondence a disingenuous ploy by the Amaju Pinnick-led pretentious board of the NFF to divert attention from the credibility and integrity baggage it is currently in.”
“For the avoidance of doubt Article 1(1) of the NFF Statutes guarantees that the NFF is set up under Nigeria’s law and is bound by same. The issue of whether or not football matters can be resolved in ordinary court of law has been resolved by the Court of Appeal in Nnaji vs Nigeria Football Association (2011), where it was held that FIFA and CAF statutes, which have not been domesticated into Nigeria’s Municipal Law, have no binding effects on citizens of this country.”
Speaking to BBC Sport, he continued:
“They (FIFA) have not communicated to us directly and reading something on FIFA’s website is not a direct communication.”
“Once we hear from FIFA then we will take the necessary steps and we cannot rule out (filing an appeal with Court of Arbitration for Sport) over something so excessive.”