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Nigeria Suspended From ALL International Football by FIFA Emergency Committee

Nigeria Suspended From ALL International Football by FIFA Emergency Committee


Nigeria have been suspended from all international football by FIFA's emergency committee amid allegations of government interference in its football federation.

The suspension means no team from the country, including domestic club sides, both male and female, will be able to play internationally. The ban comes in the wake of government intervention in its football federation when a court order which compelled the Nigerian Minister of Sports to appoint a civil service member to run the NFF.


A statement read: "The FIFA Emergency Committee has decided today, 9 July 2014, to suspend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect, on account of government interference.


"The decision follows a letter sent by FIFA to the NFF on 4 July 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 26 August 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"The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their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 first impact of FIFA's move will be felt by Nigeria's women, who will be prevented from taking part in the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in Canada next month - should the suspension not be lifted by July 15.


The statement explained: "As a result of this decision, no team from Nigeria of any sort (including clubs) can have any international sporting contact (art. 14 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes). During the period of suspension, the NFF may not be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches.


"In addition, neither the NFF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any FIFA or CAF development programs, courses or training during the suspension period."