Naija Newsrecalls FIFA had accused the Nigerian government of interfering with the operation of the NFF over the leadership crisis between Pinnick and Chris Giwa.
This follows attempts to enforce a Supreme Court ruling which nullifies the election of Pinnick as President of the Football Federation and ordered Giwa to take over the NFF leadership.
Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, also offered to visit FIFA headquarters to discuss the crisis, but his move was rejected by the World football governing body.
The minister also set up a committee to settle the dispute, further highlighting that the Nigerian government is not scared of FIFA ‘s threat.
FIFA will not scare us. We are a big country and FIFA must learn to listen to a country that is investing a lot of money in football development,”
There is a misconception of the entire situation. FIFA is an international organisation. Nigeria is a country and a defined sovereign state which is affiliated to FIFA. We have a crisis in the football leadership and the crisis went to the courts and the supreme courts decided. So, what is FIFA talking about? And yet they also don’t want to meet us.” said Dalung.
Dalung is adamant that FIFA are incorrect and he believes that FIFA should treat governing bodies in Africa with more respect.
“FIFA cannot be right. They have not even appreciated what is on the ground. Football is funded in Africa by governments which build the infrastructure and pump in money. FIFA must therefore learn to treat the government partners with respect,” added Dalung.
“We wrote them a letter seeking [a platform to] discuss about the crisis in Nigerian football. But, we received a letter on Thursday saying that they are not willing to meet with the Nigerian delegation. That is the best we have done to engage with them and discuss the crisis.