Thursday, July 17, 2014

FIFA gives Nigeria new deadline to reinstate NFF board

Nigeria have been given a 17 July deadline to reinstate the sacked board of the Nigeria Football Federation after Fifa extended it by two days.

Fifa last week suspended Nigeria from all international football because of alleged government interference.

But the government insists the removal of the NFF board from office was a ruling from a state high court.

It says a new court hearing is required but a judiciary workers' strike this week has led to it being delayed.

As things stand, Nigeria face exclusion from the Under-20 Women's World Cup that starts in August in Canada and there is also a threat to the men's under-17 side's participation in an African Championship qualifier this weekend.

On Monday, BBC Sport learned the inability of a regional court to hear the case against the NFF was stalling efforts to have it withdrawn or quashed.

"It's a frustrating scenario because of the ongoing strike," said a Nigerian official who preferred not to be named.

"There was no court sitting on the original date of hearing [11 July] which has stalled efforts."
The Nigeria sports minister is also waiting for a brief from a delegation headed by ex-Fifa executive committee member Amos Adamu that travelled to Brazil to explain the situation of things in the country's football to Fifa.

"The minister is waiting for feedback from the delegation to Brazil. He needs that before approaching the president who is also waiting for a brief and update," the official added.

The NFF was dissolved last week and replaced by a sole administrator - a move the government said was essential while legal proceedings against the country's football authority were ongoing.

But Fifa, which prohibits government intervention in football, suspended the country and originally set a 15 July deadline for elected officials to be reinstated and for the court case to be quashed.

African champions Nigeria reached the second round of the World Cup in Brazil for only the third time in their history, after they also did so in 1994 and 1998.

The West Africans are expected to defend their African Cup of Nations title when qualifying matches start in September. The tournament kicks off next January in Morocco.


Related story: FIFA suspends Nigeria from all international football

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