FIFA transfer deadline expires today

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Monday (today) is the deadline given by the world football governing body, FIFA for Chris Giwa and his co-board members to vacate the offices of the Nigeria Football Federation. FIFA sent in a letter to Nigeria on Friday stating that the body would not recognise the purported elections that brought in Giwa and his officials as the executive committee members of the NFF.

Giwa, who is backed by the sports minister Tammy Danagogo, assumed office on Wednesday following the ‘elections’ held on Tuesday in Abuja.

But on Friday FIFA asked Giwa to stop parading himself as the NFF president. The letter signed by FIFA Secretary-General, Jerome Valcke gave Giwa and his backers until midnight of Monday, September 1 to vacate the NFF secretariat.

The letter addressed to NFF General Secretary, Musa Amadu, stated that if by Tuesday morning order was not restored to the NFF, Nigeria would face international sanctions.

The letter read, “We understand from the sequence of events that the general assembly duly convened by the NFF Executive Committee could not start as planned because some NFF members, including the president, were being held by security forces for questioning.

“Finally, we have learnt that the persons who claim to have been duly elected during the so-called ‘elective general assembly’ have come to the NFF offices claiming to be the legitimate president and members of the NFF. It also appears the Ministry of Sports has recognised them.

“As a consequence, we will not recognise the outcome of the above mentioned elections and should there still be persons claiming to have been elected and occupying the NFF offices at midnight Monday 1 September 2014, we will bring the case to the appropriate FIFA body for sanctions, which may include suspension of the NFF.”

When FIFA gave approval for the Tuesday meeting, it was advised that the general assembly should work out a new date for the elections which should also hold within two weeks from that date. It also added that the outgoing president Aminu Maigari should preside over the meeting. But on Tuesday, Maigari was arrested and detained by security operatives until the following day along with his technical committee chairman, Chris Green, and the said elections held – both actions against the advice of FIFA.

FIFA had suspended Nigeria while the 2014 World Cup was still on in Brazil after Danagogo sacked the NFF board following a court ruling. The suspension was lifted after the case was withdrawn from court and the board reinstated.

There were no league matches in Nigeria this weekend because the Referees Association embarked on a strike to protest the Giwa takeover of the NFF.

Nigeria is scheduled to face Congo in a 2015 Africa Nations Cup qualifier on Saturday.

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