FIFA set to sanction Nigeria, Ghana over ‘undue interfernece’

World football governing body FIFA on Tuesday said it would go on to suspend Nigeria and Ghana from football activities if they failed to comply with its instructions by Monday.

FIFA, in a statement by its Media Office, said it had been notified about ongoings in the two federations, and it viewed them as “undue interference in their affairs’’.

It said Nigeria must ensure the NFF offices in Abuja are occupied by the Amaju Pinnick faction of the federation’s Congress by Monday.

FIFA however said whatever decision it would take would not affect the Falconets, Nigeria’s under-20 women team, who are currently in France participating in the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Glass House has been occupied recently at different times by both the Chris Giwa and Pinnick factions of the NFF.

This occupation has however been with the aid of officials of the Nigeria Police and the State Security Service (SSS) at such times.

While Giwa’s occupation was said to be “at the instance of the courts’’, that of Pinnick was said to be “on the orders of Presidency’’.

In the case of Ghana, the country has until August 27 to stop the process of liquidation of the Ghana Football Association.

Below is the full text of FIFA’s statement, unedited:

“Two decisions of the Bureau of the FIFA Council in relation to undue influence in the affairs of the Nigeria Football Federation and the Ghana Football Association have been notified on 13 August 2018.

“In line with art. 16 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes, the Bureau of the FIFA Council decided that if by Monday, 20 August 2018, at 12:00 (CET), the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) offices are not handed back to the legitimate NFF executive committee under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who was duly elected on 30 September 2014, the NFF will be suspended with immediate effect for contravening art. 14 par. 1 i) and art. 19, as well as art. 14 par. 1 a) of the FIFA Statutes.

“The suspension would be lifted only once the NFF, under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick and General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, confirms that it has been given back effective control of the NFF and its offices.

“Furthermore, the Bureau decided that if the suspension of the NFF takes effect, the Nigerian team currently competing in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 will still be allowed to continue to participate in the tournament on an exceptional basis given that the tournament is underway.

“In Ghana, it is noted that formal investigation proceedings are currently being carried out by the chairperson of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee against Mr Nyantakyi, who has been provisionally suspended by a decision taken by the chairperson of the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee. However, the Bureau of the Council considers that the petition introduced by the Attorney General to the High Court of Justice to start the liquidation process of the GFA constitutes undue influence in the affairs of the GFA in contravention of art. 14 par. 1 i) and art. 19 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes.

“Under these circumstances, the Bureau decided that if the petition to start the liquidation process of the GFA is not withdrawn by Monday, 27 August 2018 at 12:00 (CET), the GFA will be suspended with immediate effect. The suspension would be lifted only once the above-mentioned petition is withdrawn and FIFA is given written proof thereof.’’

NAN reports that the NFF has been engulfed in a leadership crisis since 2014 when two elections were held into the Executive Committee of the federation.(NAN)

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