FIFA’s hammer imminent on Nigeria – Festus Keyamo
The counsel to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Festus Keyamo (SAN), has revealed that following the ongoing brawl in the NFF, Nigeria is at the risk of a FIFA ban.
Recall that, a Jos court failed to deliver judgment on the case between the embattled NFF President, Amaju Pinnick and his challenger Chris Giwa. After the four-year-old case which was expected to have been resolved at the Federal High Court in Jos, Plateau State on Tuesday was adjourned to Sept. 25. FIFA’s hammer imminent on Nigeria – Festus Keyamo
Keyamo told NAN in an interview that an imminent ban loomed for Nigerian football if the right steps were not taken by the parties involved.
“The grave implication of the adjournment and failure to resolve this case is that Giwa will continue to claim leadership of the NFF in defiance of his lack of recognition by FIFA and the global body could ban the country.
“The only NFF recognised by FIFA is the one headed by Pinnick, who is also the Vice-president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
“I have pointed out to the court that the FIFA hammer is eminent. Let us not pretend that this is not happening.
“This is not for myself, Pinnick or Giwa but for the future of our country. It is for the future of our children who earn a daily living from football.
“The loss and catastrophe will be so colossal that even our local league will be affected. So, I am just sounding a note of caution to everyone involved that the earlier we dispose of this, the better,” he said.
He noted that FIFA had already reacted in a letter written to NFF, stressing that the world football governing body did not mince words in the letter.
“It clearly stated that what is happening in Nigeria is seen as an interference in the affairs of football because the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) had decisively given its verdict on this matter.
“Giwa and Co. lost in CAS and were given a worldwide ban and as such FIFA noted in the last paragraph of the letter that if the case was not rescinded, it could lead to severe sanctions on Nigerian football,” he said.
On the issue of the appearance of a new counsel, Samuel Shankyula, who announced that he now defends Maigari and Ahmadu with an affidavit deposed to the effect, the Senior Advocate said: “We are going to confer with our clients with regards to the latest developments in the case.
“The new counsel showed up from nowhere because he did not contact us previously. We were not informed by Maigari and Ahmadu of any development in this matter.
“We had previously defended Maigari and Ahmadu from the court in Jos to the Court of Appeal, all the way to the Supreme Court and back to the court in Jos and they did not raise any objection.
“All of a sudden because of certain intrigues in the football family, they appeared in court on Tuesday to say they were no longer willing that we represent them.
“It also clear that the new lawyer in question has taken sides with Giwa… so, these are all the intrigues going on,” he said.