State security officers “stormed” the Nigeria Football Federation headquarters on Monday and removed a group who claimed control while the FIFA-backed head of Nigerian soccer was at the World Cup, the NFF said.
They removed a faction led by Chris Giwa, a club owner who was banned from football for five years by the NFF and FIFA in 2016 but continues to use court orders in Nigeria to lay claim to the presidency of the NFF.
The NFF has been embroiled in turmoil in the aftermath of the last three World Cups. In 2010 and 2014, Nigeria was temporarily banned from international competition by FIFA because of outside interference in the NFF.
“Nigeria’s football association has a president, his name is Pinnick,” Infantino said. “He has been elected. We have been very clear about that.
“It’s a very clear cut and simple case as far as we are concerned and we have made this very clear and, if necessary, we will make it even more clear.”
The NFF said secretary general Mohammed Sanusi returned to the offices on Monday to take over until Pinnick, who is also a vice president of the Confederation of African Football, returns from a meeting of that body in Morocco. Pinnick is expected to return to Nigeria on Tuesday.
The situation may not be completely resolved with Nigerian media quoting sports minister Solomon Dalung as saying the court orders that recognized Giwa as president are still valid.
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