FIFA extends Nigeria suspension appeal deadline to July 17

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World football governing body, FIFA, has extended the deadline date for Nigeria to respond to the ban imposed on the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.

According to a statement on FIFA’s website, Nigeria now has up to 17 July, 2014 to make amends or risk an outright ban.

It was gathered that the extension was granted due to the industrial action embarked on by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria.

The statement stated that FIFA, in its magnanimity, has extended the window in order to give the NFF enough time to withdraw the court case that was instituted by Ruth Baribote, owner of Nembe FC, and also reinstate the Aminu Maigari-led Nigeria Football Federation board.

The suspension, according to FIFA, will be lifted as soon as the court action is withdrawn and a properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF General Assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without government’s interference.

It would be recalled that FIFA’s Emergency Committee had on 9 July, 2014, suspended the NFF with immediate effect on account of government’s alleged interference.

The decision follows a letter sent by FIFA to the NFF on 4 July, 2014, in which it expressed its great concern over a Nigerian court’s order preventing the president of the NFF, the NFF Executive Committee members and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football.

According to the ban, no team from Nigeria of any sort (including clubs) can have any international sporting contact.

Also, during the period of suspension, the NFF may not be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches. The most immediate effect is that Nigeria will not be entitled to participate in the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (5-24 August 2014) should the suspension not be lifted by 15 July 2014.

In addition, neither the NFF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any FIFA or CAF development programmes, courses or training during the suspension period