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Nigeria spared international ban after NFF president quits

Nigeria should no longer fear an international ban after NFF chief abides by FIFA orders to step down before the deadline date

Omar Zaazou , Tuesday 9 Sep 2014
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Nigeria look to have avoided an imminent international ban after football federation president Chris Giwa relinquished his post, just two days ahead of the Super Eagles' African Cup of Nations qualifier in South Africa.

NFF chief Giwa, who was elected president after ex-chairman Aminu Maigari was given a vote of no confidence by the federation's executive committee, was initially handed a 8 September deadline by FIFA to give up his claim for the presidency.

FIFA did not recognise Giwa's election on 25 August, citing governmental interference – which is strictly banned by the world football governing body.

And the Zurich-based association gave Giwa till 8 September to step aside and backtrack on his claim to run for the NFF's presidential post, or else the African champions could risk missing South Africa's qualifier and subsequent expulsion from the campaign.

It all started when a court ruling relieved ex-chief Maigari of his duties following the Brazil World Cup finals in July, prompting FIFA to suspend Nigeria for nine days.

Despite being reinstated as president, Maigari was again forced out of office by the NFF's executive committee just a few days later, with FIFA again objecting to the sacking which 'breached several statuses and must be reversed'.

According to FIFA's recommendations, an extra-ordinary assembly should convene to set a date for new elections that should not be beyond 25 September.

Three-time African champions Nigeria were handed their first home defeat in 33 years after being stunned by Congo Brazzaville 3-2 in their Group A opener in Calabar three days ago.   

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