FIFA Warn Nigerian Again

World football governing body, FIFA, have fired yet another stern warning to Nigeria, insisting the government should not meddle in the forthcoming elections into the board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The elections have been fixed for August 21 and FIFA said they must be conducted on that day.

FIFA's warning was contained in a fax message to the acting president of the NFF, Aminu Maigari, on Thursday and which was duly signed by FIFA Deputy Secretary General, Markus Kattner, while CAF Secretary General, Mustapha Fahmy and FIFA Executive Committee member, Amos Adamu, were copied.

The FIFA fax letter read: "We have learnt that the Nigerian government authorities are meddling in the internal affairs of the NFF and that they might try to interfere with the upcoming elections of the new NFF Board.

"We refer to the removal of two state chairmen football associations by the government authorities and to the alleged intention to postpone the elections scheduled for 21 August, 2010.

"As stated in previous correspondences, FIFA will not tolerate any governmental interference and we ask you to go strictly by the roadmap leading to the elections in accordance with the NFF statutes.

"As such, the removed State Chairmen must be reinstalled in their functions and the elections must take place on 21 August 2010 as established by the NFF Executive Committee and formally approved by the NFF Congress on 9 July 2010.

"We stress once more that NFF must manage its affairs independently and with no influence from third parties in compliance with article 13 par. 1g and article 17 of the FIFA Statutes. If these conditions are not met, the NFF will be sanctioned according to article 13 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes.

"For this reason, we kindly ask you to take all relevant steps with government officials in order to avoid a potential crisis and its adverse consequences on the football activities in Nigeria," the letter summed up.

FIFA were referring to the two FA Chairmen, Reuben Mannok of Plateau FA and Taiwo Odebunmi of Ekiti State who were reportedly impeached recently.

Odebunmi said in Abuja," Some people tried to do that (impeached him) but it wasn't successful. So I can tell you that I am still in charge. No hassles."

Nigeria only recently fell short of a FIFA ban after the President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a two-year ban on the country's participation in international football. This decision was rescinded for Nigeria to be spared FIFA wrath.

There have been serious lobby by government to have absolute control over the NFF and all efforts have been geared towards ensuring that the yet to be elected members are not going to be antagonists to government positions.

On Thursday, government officials met with sports commissioners from across the federation in Abuja, demanding that a congress be called before August 10 during which it would be resolved that the elections be postponed so as to first allow for elections to the state FAs.