FIFA Suspends Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)


Super-Eagles

Super Eagles of Nigeria

The World Football Governing body (FIFA) has suspended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) because of “Government interference.”

The suspension took place on Wednesday 12th July 2014 after a warning from FIFA last week threatening such a punishment.

According to the BBC, The NFF was served with Nigerian high-court proceedings earlier this month following the team’s exit during the 16th round of the World Cup after losing to France. The Nigerian high-court ruling last week granted an injunction to suspend the country’s top football official, Aminu Maigari, along with his executive committee and the NFF congress, according to the BBC.

It should be noted that FIFA is completely against government or other third parties interference in Football affairs of every country. The suing of Nigeria Football Federation and the ensuing Nigerian high-court ruling suspending Mr. Aminu Maigari; his executive committee and the NFF congress runs contrary to FIFA regulations, according to FIFA’s announcement on Wednesday.

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FIFA had warned last week that if Aminu Maigari and his colleagues were not reinstated by July 8, Nigeria risked being suspended from international soccer activities. That deadline passed leading to the suspension of the Nigeria Football Federation.

In a statement, FIFA categorically asked that the court actions be withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration be reinstalled and are able to work without any interference in their affairs.

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Although Nigeria reached the 8th finals of the 2014 Football World Cup in Brazil, their campaign was marred by some disfunction and money crisis. A training scheduled ahead of the Super Eagles’ 16 round matchup against France was canceled amid a reported pay dispute between players and the NFF. That was apparently resolved…however Nigeria lost to France 2-0 to end its World Cup run.

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As a result of this suspension by FIFA, no Nigerian teams, including club teams, can compete internationally in any form until the court withdraws its injunction and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration be reinstalled and are able to work without any interference in their affairs.

If the suspension is not lifted by July 15, according to FIFA, Nigeria won’t be able to compete in the under-20 Women’s World Cup. That would be the first effect that Nigerian players and fans would truly feel from this punishment, but many more could follow if the suspension carries on.