The unending crisis that has engulfed the Nigeria Football Federation since 2014 shows no signs of abating even as Chris Giwa assumed leadership of the Federation on Tuesday and commandeered the secretariat in Abuja.
He told journalists on his assumption that FIFA would not ban the country, explaining that it was those that want to perpetuate injustice that is bandying the notion.
”I want to assure Nigerians that there is no reason for that, nobody should be afraid,” Mr Giwa said.
In a widely circulated release from Festus Keyamo, who represents the board of the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board, a section stated explicitly that banning Nigeria would be one of FIFA’s considerations.
But Mr Giwa disagreed. ”The issue of a ban is coming up from people who are talking from their own personal interest and what has happened is in the status and FIFA is an organization that is guided by a status. There is nothing that has taken place here that is not in the status,” he said.
”We agreed to be one family and we have agreed to associate our selves with the Federation International Football Association (FIFA). We have their statutes here and we are very hopeful that very soon, its going to be a law here,” he added.
Mr Giwa has been contesting the authenticity of the Pinnick-led NFF board since the September 30, 2014 election because his [Giwa’s] election took place on August 26.
The federal government, through the minister of sports, Solomon Dalung, had on Monday, directed that Mr Pinnick should step down from his position as the substantive NFF president.
The sports ministry, in the statement, directed the NFF, a parastatal under it, to comply with a court order setting aside the election into the Executive Committee of the NFF held on September 30, 2014.
The crisis has seen Mr Giwa take his case to the Court for Arbitration of Sports, consequent upon which FIFA banned him from every football-related activities.
Mr Giwa continued: “I remember very well when we went to the Court of Arbitration in sport – this issue of ban came up there and Court of Arbitration ruled in that.
“They said in their words that FIFA even denied that Nigeria would be banned, they said they have never done that. So I ask where is the issue of ban coming up?”
Mr Pinnick is still in Russia for the 2018 World Cup though new elections are already scheduled for August.