World football governing body, FIFA has strongly rejected a request by Nigeria’s sports minister, Solomon Dalung for a meeting with the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, over the long drawn crises rocking football in the country.
Dalung had sought a one-on-one meeting with Infantino to press home his stand on issues affecting Nigeria Football Federation, but was informed in a reply to his written request for audience that the FIFA president would not be available to meet with him. The email then added that Infantino was indisposed during the period of the proposed meeting in Zurich, Switzerland.
FIFA wrot: “While we are aware of the seriousness and urgency of the matter, we regret to inform you that we are not in a position to respond favourably to your request for an appointment with the FIFA Leadership. In fact, the FIFA President is indisposed during the proposed period.”
Nigeria is in a race against time to avoid a ban from FIFA, after it gave the country until Monday, August 20 to handover fully the administration and offices of the NFF to the Amaju Pinnick-led board and the General-Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi.
In a bid to dissuade FIFA, Dalung wrote to the global body on Wednesday, August 15, through the office of the Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland, seeking to meet Infantino with members of the NFF reconciliatory committee and Chris Giwa, head of the group claiming authority to the leadership of Nigeria football.
In rejecting Dalung’s request, FIFA also highlighted the fact that Giwa remained under ban in a statement signed by the body’s Secretary-General, Fatma Samoura. FIFA insists that the warning by the Bureau Council to ban Nigeria on Monday will go ahead if the country fails to do as requested.