Football world governing body Fifa has extended a ban on former Nigerian junior international Orji Okonkwo after an initial sanction was imposed on the player by the Italian anti-doping agency in June 2022
The 2015 U17 World Cup-winning striker has been punished by the Italian national anti-doping tribunal (Nado) after violating the doping guidelines.
“In its ruling on the case for the worldwide extension of the ban, brought before it by Italian Nado, chairperson of the Fifa disciplinary committee, Jorge Ivan Palacio affirmed that the player had been cited properly,” a statement from the Nigeria Football Federation and seen by GOAL, read
“[Okonkwo] has had the opportunity to state his case, the decision has been communicated properly, the decision complies with the regulations of Fifa, and extending the sanctions does not conflict with public order or with accepted standards of behaviour.
“Consequently, the committee decided to extend the sanction imposed on the player by the Italian Nado on June 20, 2022. More specifically, the player is sanctioned with a four-year suspension from all football-related activities in accordance with the decision.”
The striker made five appearances and scored once – in a semi-final match against Mexico for the Golden Eaglets in the 2015 World Cup U17 in Chile.
He hasn’t been able to play play football for over 200 days as he last played for AS Cittadella against Benevento on February 20, 2022.
Okonkwo signed for Bologna in August 2016 and made his Serie A debut against Palermo. He had to wait until September 24, 2017, to score his first league goal, against Sassuolo.
The four-year ban on the player is between February 25th, 2022, and February 24th, 2026.