Nigeria have avoided a
FIFA had given Nigeria until today, Monday, August 20 to give running of the NFF back to Pinnick whom they recognise as the legitimate leader of the federation or risk a ban.
Just before the deadline, the Federal Government quickly wrote to FIFA to confirm that the NFF has been handed back to Pinnick.
But how did the battle for the NFF leadership get to this point?
It all started in August 2014 when Giwa won an election to become the NFF president. The election was however not recognised by FIFA as only 12 delegates of 44 voted.
In fact, then-NFF president Aminu Maigari and his Secretary General Musa Amadu were not present at the election as they were detained by the Department of State Security (DSS).
After his election was voided, Giwa went to court to try and stop the September 2014 election which had been arranged after his own.
The Court of Arbitration for Sports turned down his request twice before a Jos High Court order upheld his petition challenging the validity of the election.
Despite the court granting Giwa an injunction which barred the election, voting still went on which Pinnick won, taking 32 of the 44 delegates’ votes in the second round of voting.
Rivals Dominic Iorfa eight votes while Taiwo Ogunjobi got four.
One of the main contenders of the election Shehu Dikko was not around but that didn’t stop FIFA from okaying the election.
FIFA had also threatened a ban prompted by the court order that granted Giwa an injunction to void the Pinnick’s election.
The then President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan quickly stepped in and ordered Giwa and his associates to withdraw their cases against the NFF.
The crisis resurfaced again in January 2016 after new Minister of Sports Solomon Dalung sought to reconcile both parties but the meeting ended in chaos as a fight broke out.
Giwa wanted the position of the vice-president of the NFF and also the authority to run the Nigeria Professional Football League (NFF).
Pinnick wasn’t ready for a deal as those positions were already for Dikko-remember he was the contender who was not around for the September 2014 election which Pinnick won. It seems he was ‘settled’ with those positions.
Giwa then returned to court to continue his fight which led to his five-year ban from football activities and his club Giwa FC thrown out of the league although the Pinnick-led NFF have continued to insist that was a separate issue.
Backed by the Federal High Court order that declared him the winner of the NFF elections in 2014 and with the Sports Minister Dalung on his side, Giwa took over the office of the NFF on Monday, July 2.
FIFA threatened ban again and just like Jonathan did in 2014, the Presidency stepped in again to help Nigeria avoid the suspension.