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Nigeria avoids FIFA ban as Giwa vacates office

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Nigeria will no longer incur the wrath of FIFA following the decision of Chris Giwa to vacate the post of President of the Nigeria Football Federation on Monday.

The world football governing body had given a five-day deadline, which expired 7am on Monday, for Giwa to stop parading himself as the NFF President and for the nation’s football body to revert to the status quo of August 25, when Aminu Maigari was head of the body.

NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire confirmed that General Secretary, Musa Amadu, resumed work at the NFF secretariat on Monday with regard to the FIFA directives, and Giwa did not turn up, indicating that the parties concerned in the football crisis had complied with FIFA’s wish.

“In company with the NFF’s Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, and Director of Marketing, Mr. Adama Idris, Amadu took full control of the secretariat and charged members of staff to continue their work without any fear,” Olajire said.

But Maigari had yet to be seen at the NFF secretariat. His tenure actually expired on August 25, but FIFA could insist he continues until the elections of September 25.

A source in the football house, however, told our correspondent that Amadu did not stay long at the NFF secretariat because he had no office to carry out his duties. His office was part of the secretariat that was razed by fire on August 20.

“There was no place for him to stay at the NFF office so he only spent a few minutes this (Monday) morning. We knew he would resume today because Giwa was not going to show up. Giwa had already removed his personal belongings at the secretariat on Friday,” the source said.

Amadu told reporters that he had been working without restrictions at the secretariat on Monday, confirming that the troubled times were over.

“So far, I have been working unhindered and we will see how it goes between now and the close of work today. It has been a difficult time for our football but everything is over now,” Amadu told BBC Sport.

“Our attention should shift towards moving our football forward because the country’s football has gone through a tough period.

“The next step is to have an extra-ordinary assembly that will set a date for elections for the new executive committee.

“It is important to emphasise that this will not happen beyond September 25, as directed by FIFA.”

FIFA had banned Nigeria in July after the World Cup when Maigari was forced out of the NFF by a court ruling. The ban was lifted nine days later when Maigari was reinstated. But he was later voted out of his position by the NFF executive committee.

A FIFA ban would have meant Nigeria would miss out on Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in South Africa.

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