Nigerian football league postponed indefinitely amidst Chris Giwa & Amaju Pinnick leadership crisis

Domestic football was due to resume on July 18th after taking a break while the World Cup took place. However the League Management Company (LMC) has postponed the resumption of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) indefinitely.

Chris Giwa, founder of a rival faction in the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), armed with a court ruling from 2014, is now claiming to control the governing body. His assertion comes despite serving a ban imposed by football’s world governing body FIFA, who recognise Amaju Pinnick as NFF president.

Giwa has insisted since August 2014 that he was elected NFF president in a disputed vote that was not recognised by FIFA threatening to ban the country from international competition if Giwa did not step down, and at the end of September the NFF elected Amaju Pinnick as its new president.

“The decision is based on the current adverse circumstances in the administration of football in the country as a result of which sponsors, partners and service providers have expressed strong concerns and are reviewing their involvement in the league,” the LMC said in a statement.

Officials have announced that “organizing matches of the NPFL under the current circumstances might cause irreversible damage to the League brand”. The current saga, which has led to Fifa president Gianni Infantino warning Nigeria to respect the Fifa recognised board or face suspension, is a story four years in the making.

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