Now Nige­ria and Sierra Leone face Fifa bans

Gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence in foot­ball af­fairs a no-no, as Su­dan have just dis­cov­ered, but clubs con­tinue to suf­fer, writes

African Independent - - SPORT -

NIGE­RIA and Sierra Leone seem to be skat­ing on thin ice and both coun­tries could find them­selves ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the harsh end of a big stick wielded by the un­com­pro­mis­ing Fed­er­a­tion of In­ter­na­tional Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tions (Fifa).

Last week, Fifa sus­pended Su­dan, claim­ing it had gath­ered enough ev­i­dence of gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence af­ter a for­mer cabi­net min­is­ter won Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­den­tial elec­tions but the loser went cry­ing all the way to Fifa, who slapped Su­dan with a sus­pen­sion.

The sus­pen­sion has been par­tic­u­larly painfully for Al Hi­lal, Al Mer­reikh and Al Hi­lal Obeid, who were thrown out of the CAF Cham­pi­ons League and Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup com­pe­ti­tions while all were on the verge of qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the quar­ter-fi­nals.

The sus­pen­sion of the clubs and their na­tional fed­er­a­tion will re­main in force un­til elec­tions that saw Mu­atasim Gaf­far de­feated by Ab­del­rah­man Eikhtim are re­scinded fol­low­ing claims that the Min­istry of Jus­tice in­ter­fered in the said elec­tions.

This week, Nige­ria ap­peared on the pe­riph­ery of a ban af­ter Chris Giwa, a man who was de­feated by in­cum­bent Amaju Pin­nick for the Nige­rian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (NFF) pres­i­dency al­most three years ago, sought re­lief from the Supreme Court to reverse the de­ci­sion.

Be­fore the case went to the Supreme Court, Giwa had lost at var­i­ous lev­els from High Court to the Ap­peal Court.

Sim­i­larly, both Fifa and the Court for Ar­bi­tra­tion in Sport (CAS) based in Switzer­land had dis­missed his pe­ti­tions.

He was sub­se­quently banned by Fifa from all foot­ball-re­lated mat­ters for a cou­ple of years for tak­ing foot­ball mat­ters to civil courts.

The High Court has asked both

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