NFF’s 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, has been named head of a 4-man panel to unravel the issues behind the slip that led to Nigeria forfeiting the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Algeria in Constantine on 10th November 2017.
The concluding match of Group B of the African series for Russia 2018 ended in a 1-1 draw, but FIFA on Tuesday awarded all three points to Algeria following Nigeria’s use of ineligible defender Abdullahi Shehu in the encounter.
NFF Executive Committee members Ibrahim Gusau and Felix Anyansi-Agwu are other members of the panel, with Mohammed Nasir Saidu, Chairman of Sokoto State Football Association, to serve as member/secretary. “The Committee has two weeks to submit its report. It will have the responsibility of thoroughly investigating how the slip came about and those who were responsible, recommend appropriate sanctions and also make other recommendations that will forestall this kind of error in the future,” NFF President Amaju Pinnick announced at an early morning meeting with NFF Management and Staff in Abuja on Wednesday. Pinnick also charged the Legal Department of the Federation to henceforth work closely with the Legal Committee to ensure the enforcement of the Code of Conduct enshrined in the contract of all Coaches, and directed that a separate document be developed to be signed by the Head Coach and Team Administrator of every National Team embarking on any assignment.
He added that henceforth the NFF would visit any violation of the code with stiff sanctions as enshrined in the code and the Coaches’ respective contracts.
“People will as from now take responsibility for their actions, inactions, misconduct, negligence and downright ineptitudeness. We cannot continue to go on this way. What happened was a major gaffe and we will no longer condone this level of indolence and unseriousness.
“People must change their general attitude and their approach to work henceforth, or be ready to face sanctions.”
Pinnick also charged the heads of different departments and units to be much more alive to their responsibilities, while directing that extant rules and regulations be fully enforced to deal with erring members of Management and Staff.