Politics and Football: FIFA Sends Nigeria into the Cooler

Obadina Enitan Ireti, OluwafemiContributor IOctober 4, 2010

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 22:  Obafemi Martins (L) and Victor Obinna of Nigeria are dejected as the South Korea team celebrate after a draw gives them victory and progress to round two in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group B match between Nigeria and South Korea at Durban Stadium on June 22, 2010 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has finally brought down the hammer on the Nigerian Football Federation after the world soccer governing body's emergency committee decided to suspend the country's Football Federation with immediate effect on account of government interference.

This decision follows the recent 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 program, course, or training from FIFA or CAF while the federation remains suspended.

The decision leaves the 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier against Guinea, set for Oct. 10, the Super Falcons' participation at the African women's championship in South Africa, and the return leg of the Africa youth championship against Mauritius for the Flying Eagles, amongst others, hanging in the balance as the country is not allowed to participate in any event during the suspension period.

Meanwhile, a court in Lagos, Nigeria today threw out contempt charges against the newly elected NFF executive board, leaving the stage for the judgment on the validity of the elections that brought in the Aminu Maigari-led NFF board.