Giwa and Dalung must take responsibility if Nigeria face ban

Over the course of the next few days, Nigeria could face the real prospect of a ban from FIFA.

If that happens, Nigerians must put faces to the names of the people directly responsible: Christopher Giwa and Sports Minister Solomon Dalung.

It has been just over two weeks since Giwa, with Dalung's backing and support, seized control of the NFF headquarters on the strength of an ex parte court order, issued in the absence of NFF lawyers.

The move is in clear violation of FIFA Statutes, which outlaw civil suits in football disputes, providing legal recourse through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Giwa, having lost his appeal at CAS against FIFA for refusing to recognize his election, took the case to the Nigerian civil courts. That case has dragged on for almost four years, and has now led to the current situation.

With a thrilling World Cup having come to a dramatic conclusion, as France defeated Croatia 4-2 in Moscow, FIFA must now return to other, more routine matters.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino declared last week that the world football governing body only recognizes the NFF board as led by Amaju Pinnick and warned that if the present situation continues, the country risked a ban.

Last week, FIFA demanded a situation report from the NFF led by Pinnick in order to present to its emergency committee.

It is the Emergency Committee that will decide whether or not an infraction has been committed and apply appropriate sanction.

Sources within the NFF board told KweséESPN that they had stalled on their response to FIFA in order to avoid the inevitable sanction that would follow what now constitutes third-party interference.

A court hearing on July 10 to hear the main suit stalled with no decision reached and the case was adjourned till September 25.

This could lead to very dire immediate implications for Nigerian football if the crisis is not resolved before then.

It means the U-20 girls would not be able to participate at the World Cup they have qualified for, while Nigeria's U-17 and U-20 boys would be thrown out of the African qualifiers.

The Super Eagles also risk being tossed from the qualifying race for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, while Enyimba would be disuqlified from the CAF Confederation Cup.

A simple solution to avoid the ban would be for Giwa to vacate the Glass House, allow the civil suit to proceed and argue his case before a judge.

Otherwise, Nigerians should brace for some difficult days ahead as the country's football attempts to negotiate its way out of troubled waters. Giwa and Dalung would be the two parties mainly responsible.