‘’It's Disappointing That A Big Country Like Nigeria Is The One Always Giving Us Headache’’-CAF President, Issa Hayatou
Nigeria yesterday received a reprieve from world soccer-governing body, FIFA, which has moved the deadline for the nation’s ban to Friday, October 31, 2014 at midday Nigerian time.
The grace according to FIFA’s Secretary-General Jerome Valcke in a letter addressed to the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick was in order to give Nigerian football a last opportunity to avoid a lengthy suspension.
On Saturday in Windhoek, Namibia, CAF President Issa Hayatou told Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo in clear terms that the world was fed up with Nigeria’s incorrigibility in the area of football administration. ‘’It is all very disappointing because we have over 50 National Associations in Africa, but a big country like Nigeria is the one always giving us the biggest headache’’. Hayatou lashed out in a meeting with Sports Minister in Namibia.
But in the letter to Pinnick, FIFA said that if they do not receive proof that the case has been definitively withdrawn from court and the board elected on September 30 is able to carry out its activities without any hindrance, they would refer the case to FIFA Emergency Committee for implementation of the suspension.
In the letter, FIFA also warned of the dire consequences of a ban on the country stating that it would for instance mean that no team from Nigeria of any sort (including club teams) could have any international sporting contact.
The letter with the title; Situation of the Nigeria Football Federation reads thus –
We acknowledge receipt of your correspondence dated 27 October 2014 with regard to the latest developments of the situation of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
We take note of the order granted by the Federal High Court nullifying the NFF elections of 30 September 2014 and the fact that some persons claiming to have been legitimately elected previously went to occupy the offices of the NFF causing great confusion among the administrative staff. We also note that security forces prevented you from travelling to Namibia where you were supposed to represent the NFF at the final match of the African Women’s Championship.
As stated in our previous letters dated 9 September 2014 and 2 October 2014, FIFA stressed that should the electoral process and the instalment of the newly elected NFF board be affected by any interference, the case would be brought to the attention of the appropriate FIFA bodies for a suspension of the NFF until the next FIFA Congress due to take place on 28 and 29 May 2015. The course of events as described in your correspondence clearly shows that interference has not ceased.
Under these circumstances and in order to give Nigerian football a last opportunity to avoid a lengthy suspension, we inform you that if by Friday 31 October 2014 at midday Nigerian time we have not received proof that the case has been definitively withdrawn from court and that the board elected on 30 September 2014 is able to carry out its activities without any hindrance, we will refer the case to the FIFA Emergency Committee for implementation of the suspension.
We would like to underline the dire effects a suspension could have on Nigerian football. It would for instance mean that no team from Nigeria of any sort (including club teams) could have any international sporting contact (art. 14 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes). But it would also mean that neither the NFF nor any of its members or officials could benefit from any development programmes courses or training from FIFA or CAF any longer.
We recommend that you contact the main stakeholders and concerned parties to brief them on the FIFA position. We thus hope that by Friday midday, we will receive the requested evidence in order to avoid the adverse consequences of a suspension.
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