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World football governing body, FIFA has responded to the tussle for leadership within the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, which has led to the sack of the Amaju Pinnick led NFF board.

The world governing body did not mince words in its reaction on Monday as it warned of suspending Nigeria from all football activities with regard to the ruling of the Federal High Court in Jos which nullified the elections of 30 September, 2014 that installed Melvin Amaju Pinnick as President of the NFF.

In a letter entitled “Verdict of the Jos Federal High Court” addressed to the President of NFF, Pinnick, FIFA acting Secretary General, Markus Kattner stated that the decision of the Federal High Court in Jos, if implemented, would likely be considered as an interference in the internal affairs of the NFF and would accompany severe consequences that would include the suspension of the NFF.

The letter signed by the FIFA scribe, read in part: “We acknowledge receipt of your correspondence dated April 8, 2016 with regard to the ruling of the Federal High Court in Jos, which apparently nullified the elections of 30 September 2014 of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).

“In this respect, and first of all, we would like to remind you that according to articles 13 and 17 of the FIFA Statutes, all member associations have to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties. In addition and according to article 68 of the FIFA Statutes, recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations.

“Furthermore, it is the duty of each member association to ensure that these provisions are implemented by its members and possibly take sanctions against those which fail to respect these obligations.

“Lastly, we would like to stress that the plaintiff in question already filed an appeal in relation to the same matter with the highest judicial sport authorities, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and that said appeal was dismissed by the CAS on May 18 2015.”

In a similar letter to the NFF in August 2014, the world governing body had urged Chris Giwa to stop parading himself as NFF President.

In the letter signed by the then FIFA Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, FIFA faulted the election that produced Giwa as NFF President and confirmed Amaju Pinnick as the President of NFF.

Nigeria was suspended in July 2014 after Aminu Maigari was impeached by the executive committee.

However, that suspension was lifted on July 18 after a road-map was agreed upon concerning the elections billed for August 26 2014.

READ FIFA’s Letter here:

Verdict of the Jos Federal High Court

Dear President, We acknowledge receipt of your correspondence dated 8 April 2016 with regard to the ruling of the Federal High Court in Jos which apparently nullified the elections of 30 September 2014 of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).

In this respect, and first of all, we would Iike to remind you that according t0 articles 13 and 17 of the FIFA Statutes, all members associations have t0 manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties In addition and according to article 68 of the FIFA Statutes, recourse to ordinary courts of Iaw is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations.

Furthermore, it is the duty of each member association to ensure that these provisions are implemented by its members and possibly take sanctions against those which fail to respect these obligations. In view of the above, the decision of the Federal High Court in Jos, if implemented, would likely be considered a5 an interference in the internal affairs of the NFF and the case would be brought to the highest authorities of FIFA for consideration of sanctions, including the suspension of the NFF.

Lastly, we would like to Stress that the plaintiff in question already filed an appeal in relation to the same matter with the highest judicial Sport authorities, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and that said appeal was dismissed by the CAS on 18 May 2015.

We thank you for taking note of the above and kindly ask you to keep us informed of any development.

Yours sincerely,

FIFA

Markus Kattner

Acting Secretary General

CC: CAF

Author: Yemi Olarinre