Thursday, July 10, 2014

FIFA suspends Nigeria from all international football related activities

Fifa has suspended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect over allegation of “government interference” following its emergency meeting on Wednesday.

The football governing body waited 24 hours after its earlier issued Tuesday deadline to the country over the illegal dissolution of the Aminu Maigari-led NFF board.

The Super Eagles were dumped out of the World Cup by France in the Round of 16, but after the tournament a court order forced the sports minister to place a senior civil servant in charge of the NFF owing to counter allegations.

During the suspension, no teams from Nigeria – including club sides – can compete with other nations, even in friendly matches.

“The FIFA Emergency Committee has decided today, July 9, 2014, to suspend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect, on account of government interference,” a statement on its website read.

“The decision follows a letter sent by FIFA to the NFF on July 4, 2014, in which it expressed its great concern after the NFF was served with court proceedings and consequently an order preventing the president of the NFF, the NFF Executive Committee members and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football was granted by a High Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The said court order compelled the Nigerian Minister of Sports to appoint a senior member of the civil service to manage the NFF until the matter was heard in court, without giving any date for such a hearing.

“The authorities then appointed a person who decided to convene an extraordinary general assembly on 5 July 2014. This extraordinary general assembly was convened in violation of the NFF statutes.

“Originally, an elective congress had been planned by the NFF to take place on August 26, 2014.

“The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their affairs.”

The Fifa Emergency Committee added that neither the Nigeria national team nor any of the country’s clubs will be able to participate in any “regional, continental or international.competitions” until the situation is resolved to its satisfaction.

Consequently, this decision will rule Nigeria out of the upcoming FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada if no action is taken by July 15.

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