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Nigeria escapes FIFA hammer, recognise Amaju Pinnick as NFF boss

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The football governing body will no longer clamp down on the country after the Federal Government declared its acknowledgement of Pinnick’s led board

Nigeria have avoided an impending Fifa ban by accepting Amaju Pinnick as Nigeria Football Federation’s substantive boss.

There has been a power tussle in the NFF since September 30, 2014 when Pinnick was declared the winner of the presidential election – with Chris Giwa launching a counter claim.

The wrangle is the reason why the Nigeria Professional Football League – which was expected to restart after the 2018 Fifa World Cup – has been put on hold.

And on August 14, 2018 Fifa ordered that ‘legitimate’ Pinnick be confirmed as substantive head of the country’s governing body, or be banned from all footballing activities.

“In line with art. 16 par. 1 of the Fifa Statutes, the Bureau of the Fifa Council decided that if by Monday, 20 August 2018, at 12:00 (CET), the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) offices are not handed back to the legitimate NFF executive committee under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who was duly elected on 30 September 2014, the NFF will be suspended with immediate effect for contravening art. 14 par. 1 i) and art. 19, as well as art. 14 par. 1 a) of the Fifa Statutes,” a statement from Fifa read.

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“The suspension would be lifted only once the NFF, under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick and General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, confirms that it has been given back effective control of the NFF and its offices.”

And on Monday,  Mr Laolu Akande, Special Assistant to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the federal government had already informed Fifa of the decision to accept the Pinnick-led board.

“The FG has already conveyed to Fifa its firm position recognizing Amaju Pinnick-led NFF as the current & only NFF Exco. Govt will also continue to work with all relevant stakeholders involved to resolve dispute in a timely manner. FG is upholding NFF treaty obligations to Fifa,” he tweeted.

This development comes as a big reprieve to the country as they prepare for the all-important Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles on September 7.

The Super Eagles are third in Group E with no points and must defeat the Pirates before their fans to relaunch their bid to qualify for Cameroon 2019.

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FIFA Slap Lifetime Ban On Samson Siasia For Taking Bribes

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World Football’s Governing Body, FIFA on Friday issued a lifetime ban on Samson Siasia, former Nigeria Football Federation official after the body’s ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection with match fixing.

In a statement, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said the probe targeting Siasia stemmed from a wider investigation involving Wilson Raj Perumal, who has confessed to international match-fixing.

The probe that began in February found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.

In addition to being banned from all football related activity for life, Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000, 46,000 euros).

Siasia, a former striker, also briefly coached Nigeria’s men’s national football team.

FIFA did not detail the nature of ties to Perumal, a Singaporean national who was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier football games there.

Perumal later collaborated with match fixing investigators.

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FIFA Issues Life Ban To Ex-Bolivian Football Chief

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FIFA on Thursday banned the former treasurer of South America’s football federation for life after an ethics panel found him guilty of bribery. 

Romer Osuna, who also once headed Bolivia’s football federation, was among a group of South American football officials charged with corruption in 2015 amid the unprecedented scandal that triggered sweeping reform within FIFA.

The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said in a statement that it had investigated a bribery scheme that ran from 2012 to 2015 in which Osuna was accused of “awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL competitions.”

“The adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Osuna had breached art. 27 (Bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life,” it said.

FIFA also fined Osuna 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million, 922,000 euros).

Shortly after he was charged, Osuna had pledged to cooperate with investigators, both in Bolivia and in the United States, who were probing graft within world football.

AFP

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Messi, Ronaldo, Van Dijk Nominated For UEFA Awards

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Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk have been named candidates for this year’s UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, European football’s governing body announced on Thursday.

The prize will be awarded to one of the trio during the draw for the Champions League group stage in Monaco on August 29, after they were shortlisted by a jury of coaches and journalists.

England’s Lucy Bronze, Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and France’s Amandine Henry have been shortlisted for the women’s award. All three play for European champions Lyon.

Van Dijk has joined Messi and Ronaldo, the two iconic players of their generation, on the shortlist after starring in defence for Liverpool as they won a sixth Champions League and came close to winning their first domestic league title in 29 years.

Messi won the first edition of the award in 2011 while Ronaldo has won it on three occasions, in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Luka Modric is the current holder of the men’s award after winning the Champions League and taking Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018, while Wolfsburg’s Danish striker Pernille Harder bagged the women’s prize.

AFP

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