Nigeria has been stripped of the one point it earned in a 1-1 draw against Algeria in their last Group B World Cup qualifier match in Constance on November 10, after Federation Internationale de Football Association awarded the match to Algeria 3-0, because the Super Eagles fielded an ineligible player, Shehu Abdullahi.
"This sanction bears no impact on the final result of the preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup since Nigeria had already qualified (and Algeria were eliminated) before the match took place", soccer's world governing body said in a statement.
The decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee which sat on the matter read, inter alia: "The Nigeria Football Federation is liable for having breached art.55 par.1 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code and art. 8 of the 2018 Regulations of the FIFA World Cup Russia".
Pinnick thanked the Ambassador for his good wishes, while noting that Nigeria's first feel of Russian soil ahead of the FIFA World Cup ended in a sweet victory over Argentina in a friendly match in Krasnodar.
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"FIFA deducted points from the Super Eagles?, for what", I hope the Super Eagles will still go to the World Cup"?, Westerhof fired when informed of FIFA's sanction. It doesn't change the fact that we didn't keep our eyes on the ball and will help us in our planned restructuring of the Technical and Competitions Department.
"The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been sanctioned for fielding an ineligible player in the match between Algeria and Nigeria on 10 November 2017".
Pinick said in his official Twitter handle @PinnickAnaju on Wednesday that he had taken responsibility for the error as head of the NFF.
Abdullahi was booked in the previous game against Zambia on November 2017 - adding to his earlier booking against Swaziland in the preliminary qualifier in November 2015 - and should have been suspended against Algeria, but the NFF failed to pick up on it and coach Gernot Rohr field the player for 90 minutes. Shehu Abdullahi was never in the mix. "The NFF was also fined the sum of 6,000 Swiss Francs".