FIFA Suspends Nigeria Football Federation for Governmental Interference

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FIFA Suspends Nigeria Football Federation for Governmental Interference
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

After a disappointing 2010 World Cup in which they picked up only one point from a group that they were expected to advance from, President Goodluck Jonathan decided to ban the national side from all international competition for two years.

The reason behind the national team getting banned was due to the widespread corruption that existed in the Nigerian Football Federation, which coupled with the terrible showing caused the national team to get banned.

Supposedly the Nigerian Football federation spent their six million dollars of World Cup funds with disregard.

This includes spending $250,000 to charter a faulty aircraft to fly the national team from London to South Africa and paying $800,000 in allowances to 220 delegates to the World Cup when only 49 were approved.

They also allegedly incurred a $125,000 fine over a failed hotel deal in South Africa.

The officials all deny the charges.

Of course, going into the World Cup, Nigeria were widely expected to advance from their group, and were a popular dark horse candidate to go deep in the tournament on African soil.

However, Jonathan decided to reinstate the national team, which had allowed the national team to be reestablished.

And since then, Nigeria has been able to play in a qualifier for the upcoming 2012 African Cup of Nations, which they won 2-0 against Madagascar.

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But due to governmental interference (which is banned by FIFA), the Nigerian national team has now been banned by FIFA from all international competition.

Some of the events that Nigeria have dealt with are as followed:

  • Court actions against members of the NFF executive committee preventing them from exercising their functions and duties.
  • The decision of the Minister of Sports to have the Nigerian League start without relegation from the previous season.
  • The stepping down of the acting NFF general secretary on the instructions of the National Sports Commission.
  • The fact that the NFF executive committee cannot work properly due to this interference.

Along with this, 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.

As of right now, no one knows what will happen to Nigeria with these sanctions.

Right now, these sanctions are in effect and Nigeria were supposed to play in a African Cup of Nations qualifier on Oct. 10 against Guinea, which no one knows if it will be played now with the national team banned.

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