Nigerian football’s crisis has taken a bizarre twist with an attempt to appoint a dead referee for Sunday’s match between Warri Wolves and Giwa FC. It comes as Chris Giwa continues to challenge Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick. A Nigerian court has ruled Giwa should replace the FIFA-recognised Pinnick and in a move to wrest control he has named the weekend’s top-flight officials. However, among those selected is Wale Akinsanya, who died in January.
Giwa’s NFF rival group sent notice of its actions to the chief operation officer of the league management company on Wednesday. It has raised the possibility that two sets of match officials – those appointed by Giwa’s group and those appointed by the NFF – could turn up for the fixtures. Football’s world governing body Fifa issued a warning last week saying Pinnick and his board must continue in charge of the NFF or Nigeria would face a global suspension. Meanwhile, the Giwa-led faction has rejected a reconciliation committee set up by the country’s sports minister Solomon Dalung to resolve issues within the NFF. In a statement signed by the group’s chairman of chairmen, Effiong Johnson, it urged Nigerians to disregard the action of the minister. Former NFF boss Ibrahim Galadima is the head of the seven-man reconciliation committee, which has one week to submit its report.