Nigeria faces a potential FIFA ban after the body on Friday said they would not accept Chris Giwa as Nigeria Football Federation president.
Sports minister Solomon Dalung recently directed the NFF to comply with the apex court judgment on April 27 restoring the orders of the Federal High Court setting aside the purported NFF election on September 30, 2014, which brought in Amaju Pinnick as the president of the federation.
Giwa, who won in a parallel NFF poll on August 26, 2014, has since assumed control of the national football house, with moves by Pinnick — who is allegedly targeting a reelection — to stop him suffering a setback in court last week.
But FIFA boss Gianni Infantino told reporters at a closing press conference at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow that the world football ruling body only recognises Pinnick as the leader of Nigerian football.
“We have statutes and we have regulations that there can be no interference in the running of the association,” Infantino said when asked for his comments on the leadership crisis in the NFF.
“For this reason, Pinnick is working here in an official capacity. He is the president recognised by FIFA, he is the president elected by the members of the Nigeria football association and that is the end of the story.”
The Swiss added, “If any external body thinks that they can change the situation, then of course Nigeria will risk being banned as it has happened with other countries because we have processes that need to be respected.”
Infantino expressed his delight at the organisation of the Russia 2018 World Cup, describing it as the “best World Cup ever.”
He said, “Since a couple of years I was saying that this will be the best World Cup ever. It is the best World Cup ever. I would, first of all, like to thank everyone who was involved in the participation and the organisation.”
The 48-year-old lawyer added, “The World Cup has changed the perception of the world towards Russia. I think everyone who has been here for some time has discovered a welcoming country.”