Nigeria Banned from International Football Competition, Nation Releases Statement Countering Interference Claim

Josh Odoi Jul 10, 2014 at 04:49pm

July 10, 2014 at 04:49 pm | Entertainment

Josh Odoi

Josh Odoi

July 10, 2014 at 04:49 pm | Entertainment

nigeria banned from world cup

UPDATED 7/10/14, 5:21 P.M. EST: Nigeria has issued a statement, regarding FIFA’s suspension and says their decision to fire the NFF Executive Committee had nothing to do with the government and was instead a court decision:

“The National Sports Commission has received the news of the suspension of the NFF by Fifa on the grounds of an alleged court order which the world football body has interpreted as government interference in the affairs of the football house.

“The National Sports Commission wishes to state that the said court action brought against the NFF followed an internal crisis within the football family and has nothing to do with government.

“While Fifa has stated that unless the court action is withdrawn, the suspension of the NFF will not be lifted, it is pertinent to state that neither the NSC nor government is involved in the court process.”

In addition, Nigerian officials are saying the public should remain calm, because they are doing everything they can to have the ban lifted:

“Nigerians to remain calm as efforts are being made to ensure that the suspension is lifted as soon as possible; as appropriate representation has been made to Fifa to present the true situation of the crisis within the football family.”

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Africa’s representatives at this year’s World Cup, Nigeria, have been suspended by the FIFA Emergency Committee due to government interference.

RELATED: Post-World Cup: Nigeria Heads Toward International Football Ban

Nigeria had already been warned in a letter from FIFA about reinstating the Nigerian Football Association (NFF) Executive Committee members who were fired by the Federal Government of Nigeria, because NFF president Aminu Maigari (pictured below) did not solve a financial dispute between his administration and the playing body of the Nigerian football team.

He was later arrested by the Security Service in Nigeria.

Nigeria Football Federation President Aminu Maigari

A high court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria granted an injunction preventing NFF from running football in the country. The court also gave authority to the Minister of Sports in order to hand pick a civil servant who will be the country’s sole football administrator.

These legal interferences did not sit well with FIFA who sees governmental interference as a serious breach of its rules.

The strong connection between African football and their respective governments were in full display at the ongoing World Cup as money disputes involving players and officials with Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon derailed the progress of these teams making it in to the quarterfinals.

And even though FIFA has been attempting to find a solution to governmental interference, they have had little success.

Still, the ban is supposed to be a deterrent to other countries that allow their governments to dictate how football is run.

The suspension, in effect, will see Nigeria dropped from FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup unless a resolution is found before July 15th.

Meanwhile, since their losses, Ghanaian and Cameroonian governments have set up various committees to investigate their respective failures in Brazil.

SEE ALSO: How an African Team Can Win the World Cup: Strategic Lesson from Brazil

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