Last chance to avoid 7-month ban for Nigeria Football Federation

Nigeria have been given until Friday to sort out a legal quagmire involving the NFF.

The Nigerian Football Federation logo. Picture: Facebook.

BERNE - Nigeria have been given until Friday to sort out a legal quagmire involving the country's football federation in what Fifa described as a "last opportunity to avoid a lengthy suspension".

Fifa said that if a federal court order, which has declared recent Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) elections to be null and void, is not withdrawn by then, Nigeria will be suspended from international football at least until the end of May.

This in turn would mean that African champions Nigeria, who reached the last-16 stage of this year's World Cup, would not be able to defend their title at the Nations Cup in Morocco in January and February.

The Jos High Court ruled last Thursday that September's NFF vote, which elected Amaju Pinnick as president, be declared null and void, throwing the country's football authorities back into crisis.

"We can confirm that Fifa has been informed by the NFF about the order granted by the Federal High Court nullifying the NFF elections... and that some persons claiming to have been legitimately elected previously went to occupy the offices of the NFF," said Fifa in a statement.

"We also have been informed that security forces prevented the NFF president from travelling to Namibia where he was supposed to represent the NFF at the final match of the African Women's Championship."

Fifa said that "in order to give Nigerian football a last opportunity to avoid a lengthy suspension", it would allow them until Friday to prove that the court order had been withdrawn and "that the board elected on 30 September is able to carry out its activities without any hindrance".