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SOCCER twist: FIFA suspends Nigeria for “government interference”

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SOCCER twist: FIFA suspends Nigeria for “government interference”Special to USAfrica,  USAfricaonline.comCLASSmagazine (Houston), and  Nigeria360@yahoogroups.com

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AFP:  FIFA suspended Nigeria from international football on Monday, alleging “government interference” in the running of Nigerian football.

World football’s governing body said the decision followed a bid by the Minister of Sports to restart the league without relegations, pressure to oust the Nigerian Football Federation’s acting general secretary and court action barring elected members of the federation’s executive committee.
“The FIFA Emergency Committee decided today, 4 October 2010, to suspend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect on account of government interference,” FIFA said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
Nigeria’s government sought to ban the national side from playing shortly after the African footballing powerhouse bowed out of the continent’s first World Cup in South Africa in the group stage with just one point.
The two-year ban was lifted on July 5 after FIFA imposed a deadline to stop political interference.
But several footballing executives were sacked and President Goodluck Jonathan also ordered an investigation into how the funds allocated for the World Cup team were used.
A corruption case brought against four former football federation officials was due to resume on Tuesday after being adjourned last month.
Nigeria’s anti-graft agency has accused former NFF president Sani Lulu, vice-president Amanze Uchegbulam, secretary-general Bolaji Ojo-Oba and chairman of the NFF technical committee, Taiwo Ogunjobi, of 10 counts of corruption.
The charges against the officials include mismanaging a World Cup budget of 900 million naira (about six million US dollars) and paying out allowances to unauthorised officials totalling over 800,000 US dollars. (AFP)
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6 Comments

  1. Nigeria has run a very corrupt football administration. Like Victor stated, it is a blessing a disguise. Why did President Jonathan rehire the same persons he sacked only a few weeks ago?? Action before proper review? anyway he did same thing with MEND alleged bombing of Abuja October 1 celebrations. Oladele Kayode

  2. @DON. DON'T BE PLEASE. IF YOU SEE THE MASSIVE FRAUD GOING ON THERE, UNDER THE GUISE THAT GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT INTERFER, YOU GO JUST BOW. THOSE GUYS ARE ROGUES. IF FIFA SAYS WE SHOULD NOT PLAY, LET THEM GO TO HELL. THEY ARE ENCOURAGING FRAUD.

  3. Very good news.I was really dissappointed when President Jonathan reversed his initial ban of our so-called super eagles.
    Someone has to check the culture of impunity and flagrant looting of FA funds by those criminals in the glass house who always think that nobody can call them to order for fear of FIFA ban.Now the ban is here,so can we now proceed to arrest and prosecute all those who embezzled to funds of the FA

  4. We do not need a body like FIFA to put our house in order. What are they saying? That we should be spending billions of our hard earned Naira every year in international competitions without anything to show for it while our people go hungry here? That FIFA must be something we are yet to name.

  5. The FIFA ban may seem unfortunate, but could turn out a blessing in disguise. The Nigerian Football stable needs to be cleaned up. So far, democratic lines seem to be towed. I'd say let FIFA do what it gotta do while the Nigerian authorities do what's best for NIGERIAN football, in all equity!

  6. Maybe this FIFA is a joke. Because of poor performance, the Nigerian president banned the Nigerian team for 2 years from participating in any international game. The same FIFA threatened Nigeria with a lawsuit and fine if President Jonathan does not lift the ban, and now FIFA is suspending Nigeria for interfering in what again?

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