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Nigeria FA boss released after arrest

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NIGERIA-FANABUJA, August 28- The head of Nigeria’s embattled football association was released from custody on Wednesday after being arrested before a general assembly meeting to elect new executive committee members.

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Aminu Maigari, 58, was picked up by the country’s secret police, the Department of State Services, with another senior official, Chris Green, on Tuesday.

“Maigari has been released by the security operatives,” an aide to the NFF boss said.

“No charges were pressed against him, neither was he or Green questioned on anything. It was clearly to prevent them from attending the general assembly on Tuesday.”

World football’s governing body FIFA had previously insisted that Maigari chaired the meeting.

An “elective congress” was held instead and saw Chris Giwa nominated as new NFF president. He began work on Wednesday.

But the federation could yet be slapped with another ban, as FIFA had only authorised a general assembly and not the immediate appointment of a new president.

Maigari’s arrest was the latest twist in a long-running saga over the governance of Nigerian football.

The African champions were suspended from all international football in July on FIFA charges of “government interference” in its affairs following a court ruling that sacked the NFF high command.

The ban, which threatened Nigeria’s participation in the FIFA under-20 women’s World Cup this month, was later lifted. Nigeria’s “Falconets” lost to Germany in the final.

Maigari was then sacked after a vote of no confidence by the executive board and accused of embezzlement. But he was reinstated because FIFA said the correct procedure had not been followed.

He returned to work last week. Two days later, fire gutted the NFF headquarters in Abuja.

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