Solomon Dalung Gloats As Nigeria Narrowly Escapes FIFA Ban
World football governing body (FIFA) has confirmed that Nigeria will not be suspended following Federal Government’s directive that Amaju Pinnick-led executive committee remains the legitimate board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
In a statement released on it’s website, FIFA confirmed that they will not go ahead with the ban, but that they “will continue to closely monitor the situation”.
The statement read: “Following the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council of 13 August 2018 concerning the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), FIFA received confirmations that the legitimate leadership of the NFF under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick and General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi has been given back effective control of the NFF and its offices.
“In view of these circumstances, FIFA deems that the conditions set by the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council have now been met and consequently the suspension of the NFF will not take effect.
“FIFA will continue to closely monitor the situation in order to ensure that FIFA’s rules and regulations are fully adhered to.”
Earlier in the week, FIFA issued Nigeria with an ultimatum, stating that they have until today to restore and recognise Amaju Pinnick as the legitimate president of the NFF, or face a ban.
The FG has already conveyed to FIFA its firm position recognizing Amaju Pinnick-led NFF as the current & only NFF Exco. Govt will also continue to work with all relevant stakeholders involved to resolve dispute in a timely manner. FG is upholding NFF treaty obligations to FIFA
— Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) August 20, 2018
But earlier today, Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Office of the Vice President, tweeted FG’s position on the leadership tussle at the Glass House, insisting that the Amaju Pinnick-led executive committee remains the authentic board of the NFF.
READ FULL DETAILS: Crisis In NFF As FG Sacks Pinnick, Asks Giwa To Take Over
Nigeria was to be handed a lengthy ban this afternoon, a development that would have thrown Super Eagles qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations into jeopardy.
Meanwhile, before now, Nigeria’s Sports Minister Solomon Dalung had bragged that the African most populous nation will not be scared by the world football governing body FIFA.
The Minister told KweséESPN on Friday in Kampala that since Nigeria is a sovereign state, it will not bow to pressures from FIFA.
“FIFA will not scare us. We are a big country and FIFA must learn to listen to a country that is investing a lot of money in football development,” Dalung said at the Seninde Foundation Women’s Football tournament hosted at the Philip Omondi Stadium, Lugogo, where he was a guest.
“There is a misconception of the entire situation. FIFA is an international organisation. Nigeria is a country and a defined sovereign state which is affiliated to FIFA. We have a crisis in the football leadership and the crisis went to the courts and the supreme courts decided. So, what is FIFA talking about? And yet they also don’t want to meet us.” said Dalung.
Dalung is adamant that FIFA are incorrect and he believes that FIFA should treat governing bodies in Africa with more respect.
“FIFA cannot be right. They have not even appreciated what is on the ground. Football is funded in Africa by governments which build the infrastructure and pump in money. FIFA must therefore learn to treat the government partners with respect,” added Dalung in his interview with KweséESPN.
“We wrote them a letter seeking [a platform to] discuss about the crisis in Nigerian football. But, we received a letter on Thursday saying that they are not willing to meet with the Nigerian delegation. That is the best we have done to engage with them and discuss the crisis.
“They have decided to take sides and stand by what they think,” added the Sports Minister.