The Nigerian Football Federation received the biggest blow yesterday when World football governing body FIFA suspended them from participating in any competitive football fixtures due to interference from the government.
FIFA rules are very clear and state that any government involved in the running of football affairs will result in their national team being banned for no less than 2 years.
It seems like the NFF have not learnt their lesson. After being let off the hook a few months ago, consistent wrangles within the federation has left FIFA’s executive committee with no option but to suspend the Super Eagles.
This means that Nigeria cannot take part in the Africa Cup of nations qualifiers that were scheduled to continue this weekend. Considered a giant on the African continent, this action will definitely be hard to take in for the country and its millions of fans.
A statement from FIFA read:
”The FIFA emergency committee decided today, October 4 2010, to suspend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect on account of government interference.
”This decision follows the latest 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.
FIFA said that the suspension will remain until the court proceedings have ceased and the new NFF executive committee can work independently. With judicial systems wanting in many African countries, this can be a very long time.
FIFA also said that Nigeria will not be able to take part in any regional, continental or international competitions at both club and national level during the suspension nor can they benefit from any training or development programme from FIFA and CAF- a pretty harsh punishment if you ask me.
So having won their first AFCON qualifier against Madagascar, Nigeria will now have to watch from the sidelines as Guinea inherit the favourites tag in Group 2. Ethiopia and Madagascar make up the rest of the group.
Photo credit: from futboltrivias