Nigeria avoid 'lengthy' FIFA suspension deadline after court case is dropped

Nigeria have avoided the deadline for a "lengthy suspension" from FIFA after a court case against the nation's football federation was dropped on Thursday.

After months of uncertainty, Amaju Pinnick was elected as president of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) on Sept. 30, with FIFA confirming its recognition of the elections on Oct. 2.

However, a group led by Chris Giwa took the matter to court -- despite statutes forbidding football issues to be deliberated in a civil court -- as he alleges he was elected NFF president on Aug. 26.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke urged the NFF to resolve the situation or face a suspension, writing a letter to to Pinnick stating: "We inform you that if by Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, at midday Nigerian time we have not received proof that the case [the Jos Federal High Court ruling that sacked the Pinnick-led NFF board] has been definitively withdrawn from court and that the board elected on Sept. 30, 2014, is able to carry out its activities without any hindrance, we will refer the case to the FIFA Emergency Committee for implementation of the suspension."

However, a fresh hearing on Thursday has led to Giwa withdrawing his complaint, with judge Ambrose Allagoa saying: "I have struck out the matter. The suit ceases to have life."

Giwa's lawyer Habila Ardzard said the decision was "as a result of pleas from so many well-meaning Nigerians and in the national interest."

NFF representative Joshua Onoja also confirmed the case had been dropped, with Nigeria free to continue competing in international competitions.

Nigeria have faced numerous problems in the past few months despite qualifying for the last-16 at the 2014 World Cup, with Stephen Keshi sacked as the national team's coach on Oct. 16.