World football governing body FIFA now look likely to hand Nigeria a ban after a court adjourned a case over a leadership crisis in the country’s FA till September 25.
The leadership tussle between Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa went as far as the Supreme Court, the country’s highest court, before the court ruled that Pinnick step aside for Giwa as NFF president pending the determination of the main suit.
The Federal High Court in Jos today adjourned till September 25 the hearing in the case with officials now warning that the country risk a ban by FIFA, who forbid third party interference in the running of the game.
Last week, FIFA ordered for a report from the NFF on the latest crisis to hit the country’s football.
It was hoped that the court order against Pinnick, who FIFA recognise as the duly elected president of the NFF, would be vacated yesterday.
But as that was not the case, FIFA are now expected to wield their big stick on Nigeria on the strength of the NFF’s report of recent events, which showed direct interference in the management of the sport.
Senior lawyer Festus Keyamo, who previously represented the NFF on this case, warned the court that a worldwide ban against the country was now imminent.
Keyamo has advised the court not to take such a long date as FIFA are waiting for the outcome of this suit to take a decision on Nigeria.
Counsels to both Pinnick and Giwa admitted that FIFA had warned them on the consequences of the current situation in the country.
Immediate casualties of such an international ban would be the country’s U20 team, who will this weekend face Mauritania in a final playoff for next year’s U20 AFCON in Niger as well as Enyimba, who host Williamsville AC of Cote d’Ivoire on Wednesday in a CAF Confederation Cup group game.