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FIFA deadline passes for under-threat Nigeria

ABUJA (AFP) – A FIFA deadline on the Nigeria Football Federation passed on Monday with no sign at the association’s offices of the body’s president whose controversial appointment led to a threat of a ban.

The world governing body said last week it would suspend the African champions from international competition if Chris Giwa and his executive committee were still at work after 0700 GMT Monday.

But the deadline came and went with Giwa and his predecessor Aminu Maigari nowhere to be seen at the NFF headquarters in Abuja while there was no immediate word from FIFA about the next steps.

NFF general-secretary Musa Amadu, competitions director Mohammed Sanusi and marketing head Idris Adama arrived for work, however. They were part of Maigari’s team ousted by Giwa last month.

“It has been a trying period of two months for all of us but we have come to the end of the crisis,” Amadu told reporters.

“Nigerian football is far more important than any one of us. Let us put everything behind us. We have to now do the right thing in order to move our football forward.

“We will soon have an extra-ordinary assembly to set a date for elections for the new executive committee. This will be at the shortest possible time, not beyond September 25.”

A power struggle for control of the NFF has been rumbling since the end of the World Cup finals and saw Maigari ousted, impeached on corruption charges.

He was then arrested by the country’s secret police, allegedly to prevent him attending an August 26 meeting at which Giwa took charge and a new executive committee was appointed.

That prompted a boycott of domestic leagues by referees, clubs and players and FIFA to say that they did not recognise his appointment.

FIFA previously suspended Nigeria from international competition in July on the grounds of “government interference” in the running of its affairs but later lifted the ban.


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