DANGER LOOMS AS SUPER EAGLES MAY BE THROWN OUT OF AFCON 2019 QUALIFIERS

DANGER LOOMS AS SUPER EAGLES MAY BE THROWN OUT OF AFCON 2019 QUALIFIERS

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

 

Following speculations that the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) plans to file an application before Federal High Court in Abuja seeking an interim order retraining the Nigeria Football Federation President, Amaju Pinnick, Mohammed Sani Katu who heads the electoral committee of the NFF as well as Solomon Dalung, the Sports Minister, from holding the electoral congress in Katsina on Thursday, the dangling axe of FIFA may finally descend on Nigeria, www.sportsvillagesquare.com has gathered.

Last month FIFA warned that if by August 20 no definitive statement is obtained from the Nigerian government assuring no form of interference in the running of the NFF under Amaju Pinnick, a ban was imminent.

The Nigerian Government responded just before the expiration of the deadline and the ban was averted, with a condition that the situation in Nigeria was still under watch.

FIFA’s statement read in part: “Following the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council of 13 August 2018 concerning the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), FIFA received confirmations that the legitimate leadership of the NFF under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick and General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi has been given back effective control of the NFF and its offices.

“In view of these circumstances, FIFA deems that the conditions set by the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council have now been met and consequently the suspension of the NFF will not take effect.

“FIFA will continue to closely monitor the situation in order to ensure that FIFA’s rules and regulations are fully adhered to.”

The last part of the statement indicates that the threat of ban still hangs if any form of interference takes place infringing on the activities of the recognized board of the NFF.

The elective congress slated for Thursday in Katsina is just one of the activities of the said board. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has already nominated Sita Sangaré, the president of Burkina Faso Football Federation as its observer while FIFA plans to send a high ranking officer as its Observer at the Katsina election.

The consequence of any one suspending the proposed elective congress will be an immediate ban which will make Nigerian teams ineligible to continue to feature in international tournament.

The first casualty will be Enyimba who posted a positive result in their CAF Confederation Cup first leg match on Sunday against Rayon Sports of Rwanda. The return leg may not hold and the match could be forfeited to Rwanda.

So also would the Golden Eaglets possibly forfeit their CAF U-17 ticket to Ghana, thus nullifying the hard labour of the youthful players.

But the greater casualty will be the Super Eagles as their back-to-back encounter with Libya next month in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers will not hold.

Nigeria will therefore miss out for the third consecutive time in the continental premier football tournament.

In the motion being filed by NANF through their Fayenengigha Israel Jacob and supported by an affidavit by Gladstone Darius, the secretary of the body, the body wants the court to order the Inspector General of Police as well as the Commissioner of Police in Katsina not to provide security for the delegates at the elective congress.

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