THE Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has set up a four-man panel to investigate the circumstances surrounding FIFA’s decision to sanction the country for fielding an ineligible player, Shehu Abdullahi in the last Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria in Constantine on November 10. The panel is headed by Seyi Akinwunmi, first vice-president, NFF.
The NFF also listed Ibrahim Gusau, Felix Anyansi-Agwu and Mohammed Saidu, chairman, Sokoto State Football Association as members of the probe panel. Amaju Pinnick, president, NFF, in a statement, said that the committee has two weeks to submit its report.
“It will have the responsibility of thoroughly investigating how the slip-up came about and those who were responsible, and recommend appropriate sanctions that will forestall this kind of error in the future,” he said.
Pinnick also urged the legal department of the federation to work with the legal committee to ensure the enforcement of the Code of Conduct enshrined in the contract of all coaches, and directed that a separate document be developed to be signed by the coach and team administrator of every national team embarking on any assignment. He added that the NFF would visit any violation of the code with stiff sanctions as enshrined in the code and the coaches’ contracts.
The world football governing body had on Tuesday, December 12, docked Nigeria three points and awarded the game, which ended 1-1 draw, in favour of the Desert Foxes of Algeria for fielding Abdullahi, who was ineligible for the clash. FIFA also fined the NFF N2 million for the development.
Abdullahi was supposed to miss the match after he was booked during the qualifiers against Swaziland and Zambia. However, FIFA’s sanction does not affect the Super Eagles’ Russia 2018 World Cup qualification as they had already grabbed their ticket before the Constantine game. According to FIFA, the player was supposed to serve a one-match automatic suspension imposed on him after receiving a caution in two separate matches during the qualifiers.
– Dec. 15, 2017 @ 09:13 GMT