Fifa has sanctioned the Nigeria Football Federation for fielding an ineligible player in their World Cup qualifying encounter against Algeria, but it will not affect the country’s participation in Russia next year.
The Super Eagles fielded right-back Abdullahi Shehu – who was on one-match suspension – in their final qualifying clash against the Desert Foxes on November 10 which ended in a 1-1 draw.
But the tie have been forfeited and a 3-0 victory have been awarded in favour of the north Africans, with the NFF slammed with a fine of CHF 6,000.
However, the sanction has no significant impact on the three-time African champions’ – who had already sealed qualification prior to the match – participation at the quadrennial event.
Also, on the Group B qualification log, there is an insignificant change as Algeria still maintain their position at the base of the log, but now with four points, and Gernot Rohr’s men are unshaken at the summit, but with 13 points, five better than then-close contender Zambia.
Meanwhile, NFF president Amaju Pinnick has directed that an internal probe be set up and persons found guilty be dealt with.
“We accept the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to fine the NFF and award the match to Algeria,” Pinnick told NFF media.
“However, this is a grave error and somebody must be punished. We apologize to Nigerians for this and assure that this will not in any way derail or even distract us in our well-laid plan to ensure that the Super Eagles have a great outing in Russia.
“At the same time, I want to assure that persons responsible for this slip would not be given just a slap on the wrist. We are actually looking at a re-organization of the Technical Department.
“The Technical Committee will henceforth play serious superintending role on all details, no matter how minute, in technical matters.
“It is important that all committees and departments at the NFF should move at the same pace as the Executive Committee.”