NFF offers olive branch to Chris Giwa
In what appears to be a move to find a negotiated settlement to Nigerian football's ongoing crisis, the NFF Congress have extended an olive branch to Chris Giwa -- on the condition that he terminate his legal proceedings.
A statement after an Extraordinary General Assembly of the NFF on Thursday offered to lift a ban on Giwa and others, reinstate his club Giwa FC into the league, and open the electoral process to anyone -- including Giwa -- to take part.
"The Congress having duly deliberated on the current situation and, in view of the calls from all stakeholders to provide a lasting solution to the current situation, approved the provision of the following window for any stakeholder, including Chris Giwa and his collaborators, with a pending court case to retrace their steps and reconcile with the football family upon the fulfillment of the following terms:
"Ensure the dismissal of all pending court cases against NFF and its leadership within two weeks of this resolution.
"File affidavits in court to affirm to be bound by and uphold the football statutes and, undertake not to take any football matter to court but, to resolve any disputes and/or grievances within the available alternative dispute resolutions mechanism enshrined in the football statutes.
"Upon the fulfillment of (the) above, the Congress hereby empowers the NFF Executive Committee to immediately commence the process of unbanning and or removing any penalties on persons that are currently under sanctions for breaches of the NFF Statutes, provided they first comply fully by withdrawing the court cases and filing the required affidavits."
Sources told KweséESPN that this peace move from the NFF is a way to mitigate the damage being inflicted by the ongoing crisis, especially in the wake of continued adjournment of the case by the Federal High Court.
On Wednesday, the case was again adjourned till September 25, the third such adjournment in six weeks, as Giwa continues to claim that he was duly elected in 2014. That claim was rejected by FIFA in 2014, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed Giwa's appeal against that decision in 2015.
However, his recourse to Nigerian civil court has left Nigerian football paralysed, despite a warning from FIFA president Gianni Infantino that Nigeria risks a ban if the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF are not allowed to function.