FIFA suspension leaves Nigeria in soccer limbo

FIFA has suspended the Nigerian Football Federation due to government interference, world football’s governing body announced yesterday.

FIFA has become frustrated with events in the African country and yesterday acted, meaning the country’s national team will not be able to participate in qualifying for the African Nations Cup until the matter is resolved.

A FIFA statement read: “The FIFA emergency committee decided today, October 4 2010, to suspend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect on account of government interference.

“This decision follows the latest events linked to the NFF, such as the court actions against elected members of the NFF executive committee preventing them from exercising their functions and duties, the stepping down of the acting NFF general secretary on the instructions of the National Sports Commission, the decision of the Minister of Sports to have the Nigerian League start without relegation from the previous season, and the fact that the NFF executive committee cannot work properly due to this interference.

“The suspension will be maintained until the court actions have ceased and the duly elected NFF executive committee is able to work without any interference.

“During the period of suspension, the NFF will not be able to be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, and also not in friendly matches. In addition, neither the NFF nor any of its members or officials can benefit from any development programme, course, or training from FIFA or CAF while the federation remains suspended.”

Nigeria won their opening ANC qualifier, 2-0 against Madagascar.


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