FIFA suspends Nigeria

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

BERNE, Switzerland -- FIFA suspended the Nigerian Football Federation on Monday because of government interference in the sport.

FIFA has been monitoring the events in Nigeria since July after the government ordered the national team to pull out of all international competition for two years because they were upset that the team failed to advance beyond the group stage of the World Cup.

And while the government has backed down from that order, FIFA still determined that the suspension was necessary, which means that the national team will not be able to participate in qualification for the African Nations Cup until things are sorted out.

A statement from FIFA read: "The FIFA emergency committee decided today, October 4, 2010 to suspend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect on account of government interference.

"This decision follows the latest events linked to the NFF, such as the court actions against elected members of the NFF executive committee preventing them from exercising their functions and duties, the stepping down of the acting NFF general secretary on the instructions of the National Sports Commission, the decision of the Minister of Sports to have the Nigerian League start without relegation from the previous season, and the fact that the NFF executive committee cannot work properly due to this interference."

The announcement comes five days before Nigeria was set to face Guinea in an African Nations Cup qualifier.


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