Nigeria Football Federation First Vice-President, Seyi Akinwunmi, a lawyer, has been named the head of a four-man panel to investigate the error that led to Nigeria forfeiting the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Algeria in Constantine on 10th November 2017, the NFF announced in a press release on Wednesday.
The final African qualifying Group B fixture for the Russia 2018 World Cup 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.
The NFF were also fine 6,000 Swiss francs for their negligence.
Fortunately, the point deduction had no effect on Super Eagles’ World Cup Spot as the team had already qualified before the Algeria match.
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.
The NFF release added that Pinnick also charged the Legal Department of the body to henceforth work closely with the Legal Committee to ensure the enforcement of the Code of Conduct enshrined in the contract of all coaches.
He also 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,” Pinnick said.
“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 rules and regulations be fully enforced to deal with erring members of management and staff.