NFF Crisis: Buhari Bars Dalung From Making Further Public Comment

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President Muhammadu Buhari has barred the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, from making further comment on the lingering leadership crisis rocking the Nigerian football Federation, NFF. In a letter dated July 20, by Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation, Buhari directed Dalung to “refrain from making any further public statement” in relation to the matter. Buhari also asked for “caution in implementing one-sided court orders” concerning the federation “and the need to respect FIFA’s position on the orders.” The letter admonished all parties involved to “await the final determination of the suit without disturbing the status quo ante.” However, it did not state which Chris Giwa, who has been banned by FIFA from all football-related activities in 2017, had approached the Supreme Court, asking it to sack Amaju Pinnick as NFF President. He claimed his election as head of the federation in 2014, should be recognised. However, the Court in its ruling on April 27, refused to grant Giwa’s request, but referred the matter back to a Jos Federal High Court, which had earlier asked Pinnick to vacate office in 2016. Dalung on July 2, restored Giwa as NFF President despite his ban been upheld by Court of Arbitration For Sport, CAS. The minister said the federal government decided to abide by the Supreme Court ruling. Subsequently, FIFA threatened to ban Nigeria from International football, saying it only recognizes Pinnick as head of Nigerian Football. Buhari on Monday, ordered that Pinnick should be restored to his position, an order the minister rejected. He had insisted that the ministry will stick to the ruling of the highest court.
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