FIFA President Throws His Weight Behind Pinnick

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Another angle has emerged in the stalemate rocking Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), world soccer governing body, FIFA president, Gianni Infantino has declared that the only one they recognise as boss at The Glasshouse is Melvin Amaju Pinnick.

In contrast with repeated comments by sports minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung and other backers of the Supreme Court ruling that sacked Pinnick for Ambassador Chris Giwa, Infantino insists the global body recognises only Nigeria’s incumbent football president and will not accept any outside interference in NFF’s affairs.

Giwa has already taken over as president, in compliance with the Supreme Court order, which upheld an earlier ruling by Jos Federal High Court, which ruled for the Giwa FC club proprietor to take over the running of affairs at the NFF.

The apex court had directed all parties involved in the matter to return to the lower courts for another look at the case against NFF’s Sept. 30, 2014 elections in Warri.

Giwa insists his earlier election on July 24, 2014 in Abuja should stand, arguing that the poll that Pinnick won in Warri took place contrary to laid-down regulations.

However, while addressing a press conference in Moscow, Russia on Friday, Infantino said Pinnick was duly elected and in accordance with FIFA rules, hence their decision to stick with him in the unfolding matter.

He said: “The situation is very clear. Pinnick was duly elected some years ago, and FIFA is aware of all this. Pinnick is the President of NFF for FIFA, because he is the one elected.

“It is also clear to all within the family that there can be no interference in the running of the national federations by any party, especially those outside the football family.

“The situation is very clear. He is the president elected by the members of the Nigeria FA. That’s the end of story.

“We have statutes and regulations – no interferences in the running of the association for this reason.

“If any external body thinks they can change this situation, of course Nigeria risks a ban, like we have with any other association.

“We have democratic processes that have to be respected. It’s very clear-cut and simple case. If this didn’t come clear enough, you could help us transmit that message.”

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