FIFA suspends Nigeria

The world football governing body, FIFA, has suspended
the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, with immediate effect from all
activities in football. The suspension was announced in a statement released on their website this evening Wednesday July 9th.

FIFA said the suspension was due to government interference in
football activities, particularly the controversial removal of the Aminu
Maigari-led board of the NFF. A High Court sitting in Jos had on July
4th sacked Aminu Maigari and other executives from the board of
the NFF. This suspension by FIFA means no Nigerian team or club can
participate in any FIFA competition.

“As a result of this decision, no
team from Nigeria of any sort
(including clubs) can have any international sporting contact (art. 14
par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes),” FIFA said.

Read the full statement after the cut…

The FIFA Emergency Committee has decided today, 9 July 2014, to
suspend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect, on
account of government interference. Article 13, par. 1 and article 17,
par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes oblige member associations to manage their
affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.

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withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF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.

As a result of this decision, no team from Nigeria of any sort
(including clubs) can have any international sporting contact (art. 14
par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes). During the period of suspension, the NFF
may not be represented in any regional, continental or international
competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches. The most
immediate effect is that Nigeria will not be entitled to participate in
the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (5-24 August 2014) should the
suspension not be lifted by 15 July 2014.

In addition, neither the NFF nor any of its members or officials may
benefit from any FIFA or CAF development programmes, courses or training
during the suspension period.

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