FIFA reject Nigerian FA meeting request

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura watches a Nigeria match from the stands Catherine Ivill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

FIFA have declined a meeting with a Nigerian delegation proposed by Sports Minister Solomon Dalung, as the NFF try to settle the country's football crisis.

Earlier this week, the world football governing body issued an ultimatum to Nigeria, giving the country a deadline of 20 August to restore and recognise Amaju Pinnick as the legitimate president of the NFF, or face a ban.

Dalung wrote to FIFA on Wednesday, proposing a meeting between FIFA president Gianni Infantino and a 15-man Nigerian delegation headed by the minister, and including both the NFF President Pinnick, and Christopher Giwa, who claims to have been elected NFF president.

In a clear and unambiguous response signed by General Secretary Fatma Samoura, FIFA not only turned down the meeting request, but reminded Dalung of the deadline.

"We regret to inform you that we are not in a position to respond favourably to your request for an appointment with the FIFA Ieadership. In fact, the FIFA President is indisposed during the proposed period," Samoura stated in the FIFA response.

"Moreover, we would Iike to recall that one member of the proposed delegation, Mr Chris Giwa, is currently under a worldwide ban, in accordance with the decision of the FIFA DiscipIinary Committee dated 10 January 2017 to extend the five-year ban from taking part in any kind of footbaII-related activity imposed by the Nigeria FootbaIl Federation's (NFF) Disciplinary Committee on 12 May 2016.

"We would like to seize this opportunity to remind you that as per the decision rendered by FIFA's Bureau of the Council on 13 August 2018, in the event the NFF offices are not handed back to the legitimate NFF Executive Committee under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick by Monday, 20 August 2018 at 12:00 (CET) the NFF will be suspended with immediate effect for contravening binding obligations of the FIFA Statutes."

Dalung's letter to FIFA came on the same day that Nigeria's Acting President Yemi Osinbajo met with both Pinnick and the minister to find a solution to the crisis.

Sources told KweséESPN that Osinbajo emphasised to both parties to respect the FIFA Statutes in the administration of football in the country. Giwa was neither invited to, nor present at either meeting.