News Brief

FIFA Refuses To Meet with Nigeria's Sports Minister as Ghana Takes Steps to Avoid Ban

This could jeopardize Nigeria's qualifier against Seychelles in September, while the Ghanaian government has pledged not to dissolve its football association.

In lieu of the ultimatums Nigeria and Ghana's football associations faced from FIFA, one country is on its way to dodge the threat of being banned, while the other is not going down without a fight.

FIFA has refused a proposed meeting with Nigeria's sports minister, Solomon Dalung, to discuss problems in the country's football federation, BBC Sport reports. They say their leadership and the FIFA president is unwilling to meet during the proposed time period.

FIFA is giving the NFF until August 20 for Chris Giwa, who was acknowledged by the courts as the president of the federation, to leave the NFF offices.

Giwa's lawyer Ardzard Habilla asserts that FIFA can't ban Nigeria as the federation's issues need to be sorted out internally by the country's judiciary.

Habilla questions, "Do we take it that FIFA laws are superior to the judgment of the highest court in our land—the Supreme Court, and has FIFA elevated itself before the constitution of Nigeria?"


The lawyer also insists that FIFA is bound by the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

"When we went to Court of Arbitration for Sports, it said that the issue before it is not the validity of the election, and that it is the domestic law of Nigeria that should determine the validity of an election or elections," he continues. "...That is why the Giwa-led board went to court to determine the validity of those elections."

Meanwhile in Ghana, BBC Sport says the government has pledged to stop the dissolving of the country's football federation over corruption accusations. FIFA had given them until August 27 to withdraw the court case.

The football world's governing body adds that the two sides had agreed to work together "to offer leadership in reforming football administration in Ghana and in Africa." FIFA says it will also work with the Ghanaian government "to eradicate corruption and malfeasance and other associated criminal conduct from the administration of football in Ghana."

A "normalization committee" will be established by both sides to conduct football in Ghana as well as a task force "to create disciplinary, governance and auditing mechanisms."

"Satisfied with the above measures, the Ghanaian government shall take steps to discontinue the process for the winding up of the Ghana Football Association," FIFA says.

Despite this "progress," BBC Sport notes that FIFA has not clarified whether it had withdrawn its threat to suspend Ghana's football association.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

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