FIFA suspends Nigeria

FIFA suspended Nigeria from international soccer on Monday because of government interference in the sport.

FIFA had previously threatened to suspend Nigeria in July when the government, angry at the team’s first-round exit at the World Cup, ordered them to pull out of all international competition for two years.

The government backed down and FIFA said it would continue to monitor events in the country.

“The FIFA Emergency Committee decided today…to suspend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect on account of government interference,” soccer’s governing body said in a statement on Monday.

The announcement came five days before Nigeria were due to visit Guinea for an African Nations Cup qualifier.

FIFA said that outside interference, including court action, had prevented Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) directors from doing their job.

It also blamed the government for a decision to start the Nigeria League without relegation from the previous season.

“The suspension will be maintained until the court actions have ceased and the duly elected NFF Executive Committee is able to work without any interference,” said FIFA.

“During the period of suspension, 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.”

Source: Reuters

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