ABUJA, Nigeria The Nigeria Football Federation says officers from the state intelligence agency have “stormed” its headquarters, removed a group who claimed to be in control, and restored the FIFA-backed head of Nigerian soccer to office.
The NFF says “operatives” from the Department of State Services were working on the orders of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari when they removed Chris Giwa, a football club owner who has repeatedly attempted to oust NFF president Amaju Pinnick citing a court order that invalidates Pinnick’s election.
Giwa took over the offices this month while Pinnick was working at the World cup in Russia. Giwa was banned from football for five years by the NFF in 2016, a ban FIFA ratified.
The NFF says Giwa and members of his faction were removed from the NFF headquarters on Monday, and secretary general Mohammed Sanusi returned to take over until Pinnick returns from a Confederation of African Football meeting in Morocco.
FIFA recognizes Pinnick as the head of the NFF. FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on July 13 in Moscow that “Nigeria’s football association has a president, his name is Pinnick. He has been elected. We have been very clear about that.”<