Giwa Protests As FIFA Places World Ban

Akamanu Jennifer

Factional President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Chris Giwa has protested against the five-year worldwide ban placed on him by Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) due to the leadership tussle in the NFF.

The world football body extended the national ban imposed by the NFF Disciplinary Committee on Giwa on May 12, 2016 to have “worldwide effect” on him.

The Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board banned Giwa and four others for five years for impersonation and taking football matters to a civil court.

The four other officials are Muazu Suleyman, Yahaya Adama, Sani Fema and Johnson Effiong.

A statement on FIFA’s website read, “FIFA can confirm the worldwide extension of sanctions imposed by the Nigerian Football Federation’s Disciplinary Committee on 12 May 2016 against the officials Christopher Giwa, Muazu Suleyman, Yahaya Adama, Sani Fema and Johnson Effiong for breaches of the NFF Statutes and the FIFA Code of Ethics.

“In accordance with art. 136ff of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the Chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend the five-year ban from taking part in any kind of football-related activity imposed on the five officials to have worldwide effect. The relevant member association as well as CAF has been duly notified of the chairman’s decision.”

In a statement signed by Habila Ardzard, lawyer for Giwa’s NFF board, said the ban extension by FIFA was orchestrated by the Pinnick-led NFF board.

“The purported ban resulted from the legal actions the Chris Giwa-led NFF board instituted in the court of law to sustain its mandate given to it on August 26, 2014. We find the said correspondence a disingenuous ploy by the Amaju Pinnick-led pretentious board of the NFF to divert attention from the credibility and integrity baggage it is currently in,” the statement read.

“For the avoidance of doubt Article 1(1) of the NFF Statutes guarantees that the NFF is set up under Nigeria’s law and is bound by same.  The issue of whether or not football matters can be resolved in ordinary court of law has been resolved by the Court of Appeal in Nnaji vs Nigeria Football Association (2011), where it was held that FIFA and CAF statutes, which have not been domesticated into Nigeria’s Municipal Law, have no binding effects on citizens of this country.”

Despite the non-recognition of the August 2014 poll by FIFA, Giwa has insisted he was duly elected NFF president.

Pinnick was elected a month later in an election that has been backed by the world football body afterwards.

Giwa said he had yet to get notification of his ban.

“They (FIFA) have not communicated to us directly and reading something on FIFA’s website is not a direct communication,” Giwa told BBC Sport.

“Once we hear from FIFA then we will take the necessary steps and we cannot rule out (filing an appeal with Court of Arbitration for Sport) over something so excessive.”

 

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