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Wow: Nigeria Football Federation suspended by FIFA

Jul 9, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT

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That’s not a typo: FIFA has suspended the Nigeria Football Federation from inclusion in international activity.

Specifically, the suspension comes from the FIFA Emergency Committee and says that NFF is guilty of breaking FIFA statutes that demand federations work without third-party interference.

The NFF has been in trouble since the nation’s government stepped in and fired the NFF’s entire administration, ignoring several edicts from FIFA.

What’s the punishment? Harsh.

— No teams, including clubs, can compete internationally during the suspension. No sporting contact, tournaments, training, friendlies, nothing.

— No members or officials can take part in any training courses.

— If the suspension isn’t lifted by July 15, Nigeria will see its first ban: from August’s U-20 Women’s World Cup.

From FIFA:

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The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their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.


If FIFA’s throwing down a suspension gauntlet, you know there’s some really nefarious antics behind the scenes.

  1. thedeadlockvictim - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    How does this affect Nigerian players with foreign clubs, if at all?

    • sw19womble - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      It doesn’t – just the international team in that particular guise.

      It’s FIFA’s way of freezing all organisations out of having any control over their fiefdoms.

      All perfectly legal tho. If you don’t like their rules, you can just join another global footballing feder….oh, wait…. 😉

  2. mogogo1 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    I know nothing about the inner workings of Nigerian soccer, but any suspension coming from FIFA–who is about as corrupt a group as you could ever imagine–is laughable. No way of telling if things are so corrupt in Nigeria that even FIFA is appalled or if this is just another sign of FIFA’s own corruption.

  3. bloodydamnsox - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Why punish the U20 girls? And how will this affect the upcoming African Women’s World Cup qualifiers in November? Ugh – FIFA!

  4. mazblast - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:34 AM

    “NFF is guilty of breaking FIFA statutes that demand federations work without third-party interference.”

    Note that this says nothing about individual FIFA members working without third party interference. So, it’s OK for FIFA executive board members to take massive bribes, but not OK for federations to be tools of their governments.

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