The Nigeria Football Federation Congress on Thursday passed a vote of confidence in the Amaju Pinnick NFF board, insisting that they remain the duly elected body recognised by FIFA.
The congress resolved that any member of the football family who takes any football matter to “the ordinary courts of law would be automatically expelled from all football activities with immediate effect from the date of filing such proceedings or law suit”.
The decision came 24 hours after a Federal High Court in Jos, refused to grant Pinnick’s request to stop Chris Giwa, who won a parallel NFF poll on August 26, 2014, from taking over as the NFF President.
However, the congress moved to end the NFF leadership struggle between Pinnick and Giwa by asking the federation to allow Giwa FC (owned by Chris Giwa), who were expelled from the league in 2016, to play in the Nigeria National League.
In a communiqué after the NFF congress in Benin, the federation said the issue bordering on the 2014 NFF elections had been disposed of by the Court of Arbitration for Sports, with its ruling of May 18, 2015, upon a petition against FIFA and NFF by Giwa and others.
The communiqué read in part, “Therefore, there is no basis or foundation for the current court actions in the Federal High Court, Jos, in suit number: FHC/J/CS/177/2014, over the same matter as it is clearly ultra vires to football rules and regulations.
It is simply an unnecessary distraction to and detraction from the sustainable growth of football in Nigeria and has the potential to get Nigeria suspended from being a member of the global football family.
“The congress having duly deliberated on the current situation and, in view of the calls from all stakeholders to provide a lasting solution to the current situation, approved the provision of the following window for any stakeholders, including Chris Giwa and his collaborators, with a pending court case to retrace their steps and reconcile with the football family.”
The assembly said aggrieved stakeholders must stop all pending court cases against the federation and its leadership within two weeks and “file affidavits in court to affirm to be bound by and uphold the football statutes and undertake not to take any football matter to court, in order to have their sanctions lifted”.
The meeting also approved the adjustment of the NFF election calendar by the electoral committee “to a suitable date, in view of the proposed September 29 Extraordinary General Assembly of CAF”.
The communique added, “The congress has unanimously approved and endorsed the suspension of all provision of the NFF statutes, electoral code and elections guidelines that are time-bound to ensure the seamless implementation of the above directives and approval by the electoral committee.”
On Giwa FC, the communiqué read, “The club was expelled not on account of any crisis in Nigerian football and/or the claim or challenge by Chris Giwa to NFF leadership, but for multiple breaches of the framework and rules of the league (deliberately missing three cumulative matches within a season).”
It added, “The congress noted that Giwa FC was never expelled from participating in league football totally but relegated to the lower league as provided in the league rules. Consequently, as part of reconciliation, the congress has mandated the Executive Committee to, upon application by Giwa FC, immediately permit the registration of Giwa FC to commence participation in the 2018 NNL.”
But ScoreNigeria.com reported that sports minister Solomon Dalung declared the meeting illegal.
According to the report, Dalung said the meeting was a contempt of court.