World football governing body FIFA has fined the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) 6,000 Swiss Francs (approximately N2,175,660.00) for fielding an “ineligible” player in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying match between Algeria and Nigeria on 10 November, 2017.
Nigeria had on that game fielded Shehu Abdullahi and according to FIFA, the three-time African champions violated article 8 of the Regulations of the 2018 World Cup Russia and article 55 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code for featuring the Anorthosis Famagusta defender, who was ineligible for the encounter on 10 November 2017.
The sanction is a result of Abdullahi’s failure to serve the automatic one-match ban imposed on him, after he had received two yellow cards during the World Cup qualification.
Consequently, Nigeria will forfeit the point gained from the encounter with three points and three goals awarded in favour of Algeria.
“This sanction bears no impact on the final result of the preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup since Nigeria had already qualified (and Algeria eliminated) before the match took place,” FIFA said.
With the deducted point, the Super Eagles finished the Russia 2018 qualifying campaign with 13 points instead of 14 and can no longer be considered unbeaten.
President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has ordered that an internal inquiry be instituted immediately over the “error” that led to its sanctioning by the world football body, FIFA.
Mr Pinnick said this in a statement by the NFF on Tuesday while admitting the mistake on the part of the body (NFF), and accepting the position of FIFA on the matter.
“We accept the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to fine the NFF and award the match to Algeria.
“However, this is a grave error, and somebody must be punished. We apologize to Nigerians for this and assure that this will not in any way derail or even distract us in our well – laid plan to ensure that the Super Eagles have a great outing in Russia.
“At the same time, I want to assure that persons responsible for this slip would not be given just a slap on the wrist.”