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national federation will remain in force until elections that saw Muatasim Gaffar defeated by Abdelrahman Eikhtim are rescinded following claims that the Ministry of Justice interfered in the said elections.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